Skip to main content

Caitlin Clark selected No. 1 in WNBA draft by Indiana Fever

Iowa's Caitlin Clark after being selected first overall by the Indiana Fever during the WNBA basketball draft. (Adam Hunger/AP Photo) Iowa's Caitlin Clark after being selected first overall by the Indiana Fever during the WNBA basketball draft. (Adam Hunger/AP Photo)

Caitlin Clark admitted she was a bit nervous before being chosen with the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever, even though it was no surprise.

"I dreamt of this moment since I was in second grade, and it’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of ups and downs, but more than anything, just trying to soak it in,” Clark said.

The former Iowa star became a household name among basketball fans during her record-breaking college career, and she will now try and help revive the Indiana franchise along with last season's No. 1 pick, Aliyah Boston, who previously played with Clark on a USA Basketball Under-19 team.

“Obviously going to an organization that has, in my eyes, one of the best post players in the entire world,” Clark said. “My point guard eyes just light up at that. And obviously, Aliyah has been one of my teammates before. I’m excited. I can’t wait.”

The Fever taking Clark had been a foregone conclusion since she announced on Feb. 29 she would turn pro. Nearly 17,000 tickets were claimed to watch the draft at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, home to the Fever and the NBA's Indiana Pacers.

Clark has helped bring millions of fans to the women's game with her signature shots from the midcourt logo and passing ability. The NCAA's all-time scoring leader was a big reason why a record 18.9 million viewers tuned in to the national championship game, which Iowa lost to unbeaten South Carolina. The Hawkeyes were also the national runners-up to LSU a year earlier.

It's been a whirlwind few weeks for Clark. After the title game, she flew to Los Angeles to receive the John R. Wooden Award and then came to New York for an appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”

“I think obviously the course of the last few weeks has been pretty insane in my life, the last two months playing basketball as long as I possibly could in my college career,” Clark said. “I think the biggest thing is I’m just very lucky to be in this moment, and all these opportunities and these things, they’re once in a lifetime.”

Clark, who wore a white Prada jacket and skirt, hugged her parents and brothers and Iowa coach Lisa Bluder after she was drafted.

The draft was held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in front of 1,000 fans, who bought all the tickets within 15 minutes of them going on sale a few months ago.

Caitlin Clark pauses as she speaks during a press conference before practice for the NCAA Women's Final Four championship basketball game on Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Cleveland. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

Aaliyah Edwards of Kingston, Ont., was picked sixth overall by the Washington Mystic.

The 21-year-old Edwards was projected to be a first-round pick after a four-year career at UConn where she was a two-time all-American. Edwards was coming off a senior season in which she averaged career highs of 17.6 points and 9.2 rebounds as the Huskies made it to the Final Four in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

The six-foot-three forward broke out in her junior season, averaging 16.6 points and nine rebounds per game and being a staple of the team's success as the Huskies dealt with injuries. She earned AP third-team all-America honours, while also being named all-Big East first team, Big East most improved player and Big East Tournament most outstanding player in 2022-23.

Los Angeles chose Stanford's Cameron Brink at No. 2. She'll get to stay in California and will give the Sparks a two-way player. The prolific scorer was also the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. The Sparks needed to replace franchise player Nneka Ogwumike, who left for Seattle in free agency.

Chicago had the third pick and chose South Carolina's Kamilla Cardoso before the Sparks were on the clock again and selected Tennessee's Rickea Jackson.

Dallas took Ohio State guard Jacy Sheldon with the fifth pick.

The WNBA invited 15 players to the draft, including Clark, Brink, Jackson and Cardoso. The others were Angel Reese of LSU; Elizabeth Kitley of Virginia Tech; Edwards and Nika Muhl of UConn; Charisma Osborne of UCLA; Celeste Taylor and Sheldon of Ohio State; Alissa Pili of Utah; Marquesha Davis of Mississippi; Dyaisha Fair of Syracuse; and Nyadiew Puoch, an Australian who did not play college basketball in the U.S. Top Stories

Group tied to Islamic State plotted fatal Ontario restaurant shooting: Crown

A gunman who is accused of killing a young Ontario man and shooting four of his family members at their small Mississauga restaurant in 2021 was allegedly part of a trio who had pledged allegiance to the listed terrorist group Islamic State, a Crown attorney said in an opening statement in the Brampton murder trial this week.

Local Spotlight

Stay Connected