June 14, 2024

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With the WNBA Championship just around the corner, what's next for Kaitlyn Clark?

With the WNBA Championship just around the corner, what's next for Kaitlyn Clark?

Caitlin Clark's college career ended Sunday with a loss to South Carolina in the national championship. But the Iowa State star's popularity won't go away.

“I know the next one is coming soon,” she said.

Eight days, to be exact.

That's when Clarke will be in New York for the WNBA Draft, where she is expected to be the No. 1 pick by the Indiana Fever. After rising to national prominence during her college career, there are already signs that she will make an impact in the professional league.

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What do you know about the WNBA Draft?

The draft will be held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York at 7:30pm (ET) on April 15. ESPN will broadcast the draft and it will also be streamed on Fubo.
Here are the rankings for the first round of the draft:

1. Indiana fever
2. Los Angeles Sparks
3. Chicago Sky (via Phoenix)
4. Los Angeles Sparks (via Seattle)
5. Dallas Wings (via Chicago)
6. Washington Mystics
7. Minnesota Lynx
8. Chicago Sky (via Atlanta)
9. Dallas Wings
10. Connecticut Sun
11. New York Liberty
12. Atlanta Dream (via Las Vegas)

What kind of impact will Clark have in the WNBA?

Let's start in court. Clarke will have to work harder to get the shot, of course. (Don't think these veterans don't lick their chops shut.) But their seemingly limitless range and astonishing accuracy will still make them difficult to guard. Where it can cause an immediate effect is its death.

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Already one of the all-time greats in college, she finished her career with a Division I-record 1,144 assists. Clark's Iowa teammates weren't always adept at converting her passes. Now imagine what Aliyah Boston, the 2023 Rookie of the Year, will do with Clarke's powerful passes.

In terms of marketing and star power, the WNBA better be prepared. The Fever is seeing a spike in ticket sales, and the Las Vegas Aces have already announced they are moving to a larger arena to accommodate more fans when they come to town. Last season, the Fever had the second-lowest attendance in the league, ahead of only Atlanta, which plays in a much larger arena and averages 85 percent capacity. The Fever is probably one of the most popular fan destinations.

Similar to its experience in Iowa, the Fever Road games should see record numbers as well. The Hawkeyes have sold out all but two of their games this season – home, road or postseason. Her fans aren't going anywhere.

Would you lose money by going to the WNBA?

This narrative has been shot down several times, but it persists by some who do not consider the strength of its support. Clark has the most high-profile endorsement deals of any college basketball player. (You've seen the State Farm ads, right?) These ads aren't going away, and expect a lucrative sneaker deal to come their way.


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Caitlin Clark's business is booming. Here's how the WNBA is lining up its sponsorship

As the presumptive No. 1 pick, she will be guaranteed $76,535 in her senior season. (She did not receive a salary at Iowa State.) She can also earn up to $250,000 in a league marketing deal and up to $100,000 in a team marketing contract if she chooses not to play overseas outside of the following WNBA season. If she goes abroad, she can expect a lucrative contract from a team in Europe or China.

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But thanks to her marketing muscle, she is likely to sign more endorsement deals.

Should Clark have turned pro?

no. Like other seniors, Clark was granted an extra season of eligibility by the NCAA due to the pandemic disruption. She announced on February 29 that she would not return to Iowa City, raising the risk of a strong exit in the tournament.

Who else will be in the draft?

research The athlete The post-tournament mock draft is coming up in a few days. But other potential stars are expected to hear their names called.

South Carolina's Camila Cardoso, Stanford's Cameron Brink and Tennessee's Rekia Jackson are expected to be selected early. LSU's Angel Reese is expected to be selected around the eighth overall.


Go deeper

WNBA Mock Draft: Where will Angel Reese land? Who will be cast after Kaitlyn Clark?

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(Photo: Steve Chambers/Getty Images)