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Caitlin Clark plays in first WNBA game after being drafted No. 1 by Indiana Fever


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Caitlin Clark was drafted by the Indiana Fever with the first pick of the 2024 WNBA Draft.



CNN

Excitement to watch Caitlin Clarke in action WNBA It was clear. And tonight, that moment finally came.

the The 22-year-old was drafted By the Indiana Fever with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft earlier this month following a historic NCAA season with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

She’s at the forefront of a new wave of interest in women’s basketball, and her arrival in the WNBA is a moment fans have been anticipating for some time. Clark made her debut for Indiana in the Fever’s preseason opener against the Dallas Wings in Arlington, Texas, on Friday night.

Since Clark’s name was officially put forward in the WNBA draft, excitement about her move to the league has been building.

Clark developed into a nearly unstoppable scorer with Iowa State, setting countless records in men’s and women’s matches during her time in college.

Such has been the longing to see her in the WNBA, and the ticket prices to watch are feverish More than double Even before the draft and TickPick He told CNN in March That 83% of all tickets sold for the upcoming season of Fever came after it announced the draft. Indiana was widely expected to take Clark with the first overall pick

After the almost inevitable No. 1 pick, that excitement continues to blossom.

Its No. 22 Fever jerseys sold out within hours of going on sale, breaking the record for draft-night draft pick sales for any player in any sport, a Fanatics spokesperson told CNN; This record was broken days later by Caleb Williams after he was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Michael Conroy/AP

Clark’s merchandise sold out quickly after it was coined by Fever.

dallas wings Announce Earlier in April, tickets for the teams’ warm-up game sold out as fans flocked to the College Park Center to catch a glimpse of the former Hawkeyes.

Clarke has already been spotted on the field with her Fever teammates, as the league’s training camp recently began.

Social media clips from Fever show Clarke pulling down her trademark 3-pointers The joy of her colleaguesBeside the win The team’s first half-court challenge of the season.

Although she comes with a lot of hype around her, the rising star says she has been adjusting to a different pace of play in her early experiences in the professional game.

“It’s definitely different, but that’s what you expect when you start a new chapter in your life,” Clark said He told reporters. “It’s fast, it’s a fast shot clock, but it suits my game well.

“It’s a fast pace, much faster than college, and you have to learn faster because you have to think about Friday.”

She competed alongside All-Star center Aaliyah Boston, the WNBA Rookie of the Year winner and the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft.

The duo could make for a scary proposition for opposing defensemen as they look to improve on a 13-27 record from last season, with the team sitting in 10th place in the WNBA standings — last in the Eastern Conference — and missing the playoffs.

Michael Conroy/AP

Clark (center) and Boston (right) could be a tough tandem to stop opposing defenses next season and a productive long-term partnership for the Fever.

Boston – from He averaged 14.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season – She said she hopes to improve on her promising WNBA debut campaign.

“To be able to come in my second year and be able to hold off (defenders) a little longer and be able to finish contact a little better than I did my first season is a lot better,” Boston said.

Friday’s preseason game against the Wings was the first of two games for the Fever, with the second coming against the Atlanta Dream in Indianapolis on May 10.

Indiana opens its regular season against the Connecticut Sun on May 14 at Mohegan Sun Arena.





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