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Caitlin Clark responds to WNBA star A’ja Wilson’s claims that her meteoric rise depends on her race

  • READ MORE: Clark’s race ‘is a huge factor’ in his growing popularity, says Wilson
  • The 21-year-old, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, made her debut Tuesday.
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Caitlin Clark has responded to WNBA star Aj’a Wilson’s claims that her meteoric rise in popularity comes down to her run ahead of her league debut on Wednesday.

Just a day after Wilson, a power forward for the Las Vegas Aces, told the Associated Press that his “blood boils” when people refuse to believe that ethnicity is a factor in market value, we asked to Clark if the “racial element” had already crossed paths. her spirit on her journey to the top of women’s basketball during an Indiana Fever press conference.

“Yes, I think there are opportunities for every player in women’s basketball. I think the more opportunities we can provide at all levels, that’s what’s going to elevate women’s basketball. He It doesn’t have to be one or two players, I think it even goes back to college,” Clark told reporters Tuesday before facing the Connecticut Sun.

“Parity in women’s basketball is what makes more people want to come watch it,” she added. “And I think the more we can spread the love, show people, show their talents, show their teams, it’s going to continue to elevate it.” I think that’s the most important thing.

Before Clark, 21, there was a long list of talented white WNBA players such as Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, but the former Iowa point guard’s fame was far more notable than that of either former Seattle Storm stars, perhaps because of her. accomplishments in college with Hawkeyes and a no-nonsense approach to the game.

Caitlin Clark has dismissed A'ja Wilson's claims that there aren't as many opportunities for black players to be as popular as her.

Caitlin Clark has dismissed A’ja Wilson’s claims that there aren’t as many opportunities for black players to be as popular as her.

Wilson — a forward for the Las Vegas Aces — told the Associated Press that people who don't believe race isn't a factor in market value make her

Wilson — a forward for the Las Vegas Aces — told the Associated Press that people who don’t believe race isn’t a factor in market value make her “blood boil.”

In addition to his back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances, Clark is now part of the NCAA Div. I am the all-time leader (among men and women) despite his shortcomings in title games, making him the WNBA’s top pick in the 2024 draft class. His player profile is also relevant to many people, growing up in a middle-class family in “America’s Heartland,” aka the Midwest.

On Wednesday, she remained unapologetic when asked about Wilson’s claims – an adjective Angel Reese has used several times in the past – as she revealed: “I had a lot of fun to be in the spotlight and help grow this game and move it forward, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.

She also seemed confident for a rookie entering her first full professional season.

“I think I know how talented this league is,” Clark said, adding, “Whether it was me when I was young, or whether it was me playing here now, or how many talented players there are has in this league.

“The more we can share the love, the better this league will be.”

Clark, 21, made her competitive WNBA debut against the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday.

Clark, 21, made her competitive WNBA debut against the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday.

A sold-out Mohegan Sun Arena – home of the Sun – was on display for Clark's first professional game

A sold-out Mohegan Sun Arena – home of the Sun – was on display for Clark’s first professional game

Ticket sales have surged across the WNBA on resale platforms since April, when Clark was recruited by The Fever, with her celebrity helping to bring more attention to the women’s league, which has long lagged in popularity compared to its male counterpart.

Veterans and fans said the change was apparent at Mohegan Sun Arena, which hadn’t sold out a home opener since 2003.

Fans wearing Clark jerseys crowded the seats as framed photos of the six-foot sharpshooter were auctioned off in a silent auction alongside photos of New England sports heroes like Tom Brady and Larry Bird.

“The WNBA always gets hit with people. We understood. We hear the jokes. But I think it’s a door that opens,” said Raul Santana, a five-year Sun season ticket holder who works at the Mohegan Sun casino.

The ice-veined Clark showed no signs of nervousness before the announcement, telling a crowd of reporters that she was just excited to take the field.

“There’s just a different buzz in the air,” she said. “This is what women’s basketball should be.”

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