Caitlin Clark Sends Heartfelt Message to Young Girls

Caitlin Clark

Getty Caitlin Clark understands the magnitude of her next step.

Caitlin Clark‘s imprint on women’s basketball could become the female equivalent of “I want to be like Mike,” and she fittingly shared an inspiring message for young girls before the 2024 WNBA draft on Monday, April 15.

“Dream big, don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t. But you’ve got to go out there and earn it,” Clark said in a video released on Monday.

Clark became a basketball sensation in recent years at Iowa as the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer. She will likely go No. 1 in the draft to the Indiana Fever after a dominant career with the Hawkeyes.

For Clark, it took off after she wrote down her goals in the second grade. The Des Moines, Iowa, native rose through the youth basketball ranks to become a greater player than imagined with Iowa.

“Get a basketball scholarship, play in the WNBA,” Clark told the “TODAY” Show.

Clark achieved the scholarship part, and the WNBA awaits. Despite her dominance at Iowa, she doesn’t think of success at the next level as automatic.

“I hope my game translates to the next level,” Clark said, “… there will be good vets around me that I’ll be able to lean on.”

Clark also has another potential dream on the horizon — the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Team USA’s roster will be finalized in the coming weeks.

“That’s, like, one of my dreams as a kid growing up. You always want to be an Olympic gold medalist,” Clark said.

First, she will have to help turn around a Fever squad that went 13-27 in 2023.

Caitlin Clark Wants to Inspire Youth

Clark relishes the platform she has for young people as an athlete and is well aware of her impact already. She called it “super important” as she goes forward with her career.

“One, like, I love playing basketball. But, two, also getting to inspire the next generation,” Clark said. “I grew up loving basketball, loving soccer. Like, the people I idolized in my life were, you know, either professional women’s basketball players, professional soccer players, and that’s what I wanted to be growing up.”

Clark talked about practicing long hours to reach the point she’s at. Her game features a little of everything from her dynamic pass to her pin-point three-point shooting.

“Those are shots, like, I practice and work on every single day,” Clark said. “It’s not like I just take the court for a game and just start launching those.

“But I think always I’ve had confidence in myself,” she said. “And so just carrying that and being confident in all the work I’ve put in in the moments and knowing that I’ve earned to be in this moment, that’s always kind of what I remind myself, is, you know, ‘You’re not here by accident.’ Like, it’s all the hard work that you put in. And that’s what led you to this.”

Caitlin Clark Says She’s Excited for the WNBA’s Growth

Clark will enter the league amid enormous expectations for the WNBA’s growth and women’s basketball’s growth overall. She acknowledged how her inevitable selection has already impacted the Fever’s ticket sales.

“I think it’s, you know, only going to help the league grow even more,” Clark said about joining the WNBA. “And obviously it’s at a place where it’s been really good. But the more people we can bring into the league, whether they’ve just been college fans and now they can be college basketball fans and WNBA fans, will only help the league to grow.”