Iowa women’s basketball will retire Caitlin Clark’s No. 22-ZoomTech News

Caitlin Clark acquired a closing probability to say goodbye to Iowa followers on Wednesday, and naturally there was a giant crowd ready.

Clark, who turned main faculty basketball’s all-time main scorer this season on the best way to being the consensus nationwide participant of the 12 months, was honored alongside along with her teammates in a celebration at Iowa’s dwelling enviornment commemorating the Hawkeyes’ second consecutive national runner-up finish in the NCAA Tournament.

“I might say you’ve all impressed me as a lot as I impressed you,” Clark stated to the roughly 8,000 followers at Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Enviornment. “And also you allowed me to dwell out my dream each single day, and for that, I’m very grateful. It’s been very particular, and this place will at all times be dwelling to me.”

Clark obtained a standing ovation when Iowa athletics director Beth Goetz introduced that Clark’s No. 22 jersey can be retired, the third quantity to be retired in program historical past.

“I believe they such as you,” Goetz stated to Clark after the announcement.

“It’s tremendous unimaginable, one thing I’m very grateful for,” Clark stated. “There’s been loads of good 22s who’ve come earlier than me and performed for this program, whether or not it was Kathleen Doyle or Sam Logic. That quantity holds loads of weight, far past me. I’m actually grateful, and it is going to be a special occasion when it occurs.”

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder referred to as the Hawkeyes’ back-to-back runs to the nationwide championship sport “particular.”

“This 12 months’s was additionally particular as a result of no person thought we might do it,” she stated. “No person thought we might repeat what we did final 12 months, besides these girls up right here.”

The attendance for the occasion wasn’t shocking given the Hawkeyes’ skill to attract large crowds this season.

The Hawkeyes offered out each dwelling sport, drawing 238,620 followers throughout the common season, and that complete doesn’t include the 55,646 fans who confirmed up for the “Crossover at Kinnick” out of doors exhibition sport in October at Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium that set the ladies’s basketball single-game attendance file.

Iowa additionally offered out its two NCAA match video games — the weekend attendance of 28,764 was essentially the most of any first-weekend website within the girls’s match.

“Please come again subsequent 12 months,” Bluder stated. “Please fill Carver-Hawkeye Enviornment subsequent 12 months.”

Followers had been lined up exterior of the sector greater than two hours earlier than the occasion began, racing to search out seats when the doorways opened.

Iowa’s announcement comes only a day after the all-time main scorer gained the John R. Picket Award for the second straight 12 months because the nation’s prime girls’s faculty basketball participant.

After main her staff to back-to-back nationwide title sport berths, a number of Huge Ten regular-season and match titles, and extra, her profession has prompted a debate about whether or not she is the GOAT of girls’s basketball.

[Further reading: Why Caitlin Clark isn’t the GOAT of women’s college basketball, but its most influential

Clark completed with 3,951 profession factors, which shattered the all-time NCAA Division I scoring mark for each males’s and ladies’s basketball and likewise drew large numbers in viewership, ticket gross sales, and a spotlight to the game.

The unprecedented quantity of protection on the game and her collegiate profession is already set to comply with her into the WNBA, the place she is predicted to be drafted by the Indiana Fever because the No. 1 choose. The league introduced on Wednesday plans to broadcast 36 of the Fever’s 40 video games on nationwide networks and streaming companions. 

Whereas the top of Clark’s collegiate profession was bittersweet after falling within the NCAA title sport for the second 12 months in a row, her jersey will ceaselessly cling within the rafters as a reminder of her monumental affect on the sport of girls’s basketball.

The Related Press contributed to this story.

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