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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Caitlin Clark makes history, breaks all-time scoring record amidst false claims

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Caitlin Clark playing Minnesota in her 2024 season. Photo Credit- John McClellan

University of Iowa Basketball player Caitlin Clark became the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer across men’s and women’s basketball on March 3. Clark’s career points surpassed former LSU shooting guard “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s 3,667 career points. 

Due to Clark’s domination on the court, views for women’s basketball, not only Iowa, but across the country have skyrocketed. Specifically, women’s college basketball views are up 60% nationally and up 48% on Fox. Furthermore, Iowa sold out all of its home games for the 2023-24 season, and the Big Ten announced its upcoming postseason women’s basketball tournament is sold out for the first time in history.

The 2023 NCAA final between LSU and Iowa was the most watched women’s college basketball game in history, accumulating 9.9 million views. Additionally, it was the first women’s NCAA final to be aired live on ABC. 

Senior basketball player David Gorsline shared his experience with Clarks surge in popularity, “Caitlin Clark definitely got me more interested in Iowa women’s basketball. She is very entertaining to watch play,” Gorsline said.

Clark’s new record introduced some skeptics. On Feb. 18 during a broadcast, WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes shared her opinion on Clark. 

“If Kelsey Plum set that record in four years, well, Caitlin should’ve broken that record in four years,” Swoopes argued. “But because there’s a COVID year, and then there’s another year, you know what I mean? So she’s already had an extra year to break that record. So, is it truly a broken record? I don’t know. I don’t think so. But yeah, that’ll go in the record books. And, I don’t think it should be.”

Fans were quick to correct Swoopes’s false allegations that Clark has had more playing time than Plum. In reality, Clark is in her fourth season, making her equal to Plum.

But that’s not all Iowa fans had to say. Swoopes was on blast across social media by upset fans. Many Iowa fans were seen wearing t-shirts saying “Don’t be a Sheryl” on them. 

Senior Emma Decker believes Swoopes’s behavior was unwarranted. “I think the whole situation was completely out of pocket. Sheryl Swoopes knows that she has many viewers and for her to make inaccurate statements publicly is humiliating to Caitlin Clark and could potentially hurt her reputation,” she said.

Swoopes went on to address her comments, admitting she “made a mistake” by referring to Clark as a fifth-year player, continuing to voice her respect for the player.

“I have nothing but respect for what she has done for the game. If she wants to share what her response was and how that conversation went, I’ll leave that to her. But it was a really good conversation,” said Swoopes.

Caitlin Clark has inspired a multitude of people, non-basketball fans included. Clark shirts and jerseys have become the online realtor, Fanatics, top-selling college athlete apparel.

Senior basketball player Jessica Clemons views Clark as an icon. She shared, “Caitlin Clark has had a huge beneficial impact on Iowa high school basketball. For me, she gives me the confidence on the court to be myself and wear my emotions on my sleeve.” She concluded by saying, “She also makes me appreciate girls basketball and not take it for granted.”

Many issues are still prevalent in women’s basketball such as: unequal pay, less media coverage and less opportunities to play professionally. Female athletes receiving recognition for their achievements still have a long way to go. Caitlin Clark’s career and hard work has paved the way for improvement within womens sports as a whole.

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Abby Moroney, Business Manager
Abby Moroney is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as the Business Manager of the online Spartan Shield. Abby is passionate about soccer and plays on the varsity girls soccer team. Outside of school Abby volunteers at events and summer camps at the Putnam Museum. Some of her hobbies include reading, golf and painting. Abby also spends her time at school sporting events, being outside and hanging out with friends and family. She plans to double major in accounting and international business while minoring in Spanish and is excited for her life after high school.
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