Caitlin Clark Reacts to Iowa Jersey Retirement Honor: ‘Forever Thankful’

Caitlin Clark

Getty Caitlin Clark speaks to the media after losing the 2024 Women's National Championship.

Caitlin Clark will be having her #22 jersey retired by the Iowa Hawkeyes

The school’s announcement of Clark’s jersey retirement came on April 10, and was followed by an end-of-season celebration at Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena that was attended by Clark and her teammates. 

The NCAA’s all-time leading scorer addressed more than 7,000 fans in attendance, and conveyed what their unconditional support means to her.

“I would say you’ve all inspired me as much as I inspired you,” Clark said, per an X post from the Des Moines Register‘s Tyler Tachman. “And you allowed me to live out my dream every single day, and for that, I’m forever thankful.”

When Clark was asked what it feels like knowing that nobody will wear #22 at Iowa again, she said, “It’s super incredible, something I’m very thankful for.

“There’s been a lot of good 22’s who have come before me and played for this program,” Clark added, “whether it was Kathleen Doyle or Sam Logic. That number holds a lot of weight, far beyond me. I’m really grateful, and it will be a special day when it happens.”

Clark in Rare Company

Clark will become the third woman in Iowa history to have her jersey retired. The two who came before her are legends in their own right. 

The first Iowa women’s basketball player to have her jersey retired was Michelle Edwards.

Edwards wore #30 at at Iowa from 1985-1988, where she was a three-time All-Big Ten selection, 1988 Big Ten Player of the Year, and the 1988 Champion National Player of the Year. 

Iowa retired Edwards’ jersey in 1990, two years after she graduated. After playing a decade overseas, Edwards was selected by the Cleveland Rockers in the inaugural WNBA Draft.

Edwards was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014, and is now an assistant basketball coach at Rutgers University

The second Iowa women’s player to have her jersey retired is Megan Gustafson

Gustafson wore #10 at Iowa from 2015-2019. She was the ESPNW National Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year, and Naismith Trophy Winner in 2019. 

Her 1,460 total career rebounds are most in Iowa history. She currently plays for both the Las Vegas Aces and the British Basketball League’s London Lions. On April 10, Gustafson led the Lions to a EuroCup Championship.

Gustafson had her jersey retired by Iowa on January 26, 2020.

WNBA Draft is Next for Clark

The 2024 WNBA Draft on April 15 now beckons Clark. 

She is all-but guaranteed to be the No.1 overall pick, which is held by the Indiana Fever. When the Fever — who have 36 nationally televised games scheduled for 2024, after just 1 in 2023 — select her, Clark will join Aliyah Boston to form a formidable duo of back to back No.1 overall picks. 

Clark was asked about potentially playing with Boston by ESPN on April 9.

“I mean, that would obviously be amazing, and I have so much respect for Aliyah,” Clark said. “I’ve been lucky enough to be her teammate and know firsthand how talented she is in the bright future that she has. So it’ll be special for sure.”

Expect success from both Clark and Boston next season.