Caitlin Clark's Olympic exclusion 'woke a monster,' coach says

She didn't make the 2024 team, but she is determined to prove critics wrong.
Around the WNBA
Posted at 7:18 AM, Jun 10, 2024

There is no question that Caitlin Clark is a talented basketball player who is capable of being one of the top players in the WNBA.

Whether she currently is among the elite basketball players in the WNBA remains up for debate.

Clark, a rookie with the Indiana Fever, will be left off Team USA's Olympic roster when it will soon be unveiled, she said. Her exclusion would seem to suggest that she is not among the top 12 American players in the WNBA.

On Sunday, Clark reacted to the news by saying that it gives her "something to work for."

"I think I'm excited for the girls that are on the team," Clark said. "I know it's the most competitive team in the world and I know it could have gone either way of me being on the team, me not being on the team."

This combination photo shows Chicago Sky's Angel Reese, left, and Indiana Fever's Caitlin Clark.


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Fever coach Christie Sides recognized Clark's motivation.

"The thing she said was, 'Hey, coach, they woke a monster,' which I thought was awesome," she said.

Clark said that she recently was told that she would be left off the roster.

"They called me and let me know before everything came out, which was really respectful of them and I appreciated that and they did the same for every girl that made the team or every girl that didn't make the team," she said. "There's a lot of players in the Olympic pool. It wasn't like I was the only one they had to call; they had to make quite a few calls."

At age 22, Clark will have plenty of other opportunities to make the Olympic team. The next Summer Games will be in Los Angeles in 2028.

"She's young," Sides said. "She's gonna have so many opportunities in the future."

Twelve games into her rookie season, Clark ranks No. 14 in scoring with 16.8 points per game, No. 4 in assists with 6.3 per game, and No. 24 in rebounds with 5.3 per game. She has struggled with hanging onto the basketball as she leads the league in turnovers with 5.6 per game.