Caitlin Clark delivers in WNBA debut with Fever game against Wings

Clark’s WNBA debut didn’t disappoint as the guard tied in points, 21, with Wings rookie Jaelyn Brown. Caitlin Clark started with a 3-pointer less than 1 minute into the game.

Some of the sellout audience gathered outside the arena wearing University of Iowa’s No. 22 jersey, more than three hours before Caitlin Clark made her WNBA debut with the Indiana Fever in an exhibition game against the Dallas Wings on Friday night. And Clark was a showman. The two-time NCAA women’s basketball player of the year finished with a team-high 21 points in the Fever’s 79-76 loss after leading all first-half scorers with 16 points in just 16 minutes.

Her field goal percentage was 6 of 15, with 5 of those coming from beyond the arc. She also had two assists, three rebounds, four fouls, and five turnovers. Her 21 points shared the game high with Jaelyn Brown, a rookie from Dallas. She even had an opportunity to force OT in the match. With three seconds remaining, Arike Ogunbowale of Dallas made the game-winning 3-pointer, and Clark’s shot from the right corner at the buzzer was unsuccessful.

Less than a minute into the game, Clark scored his first basket as a professional, a 28-foot 3-pointer close to the left sideline. She made two of her three free throws after being fouled on a shot beyond the arc, in addition to her four 3-pointers during the half. She received her fourth foul in the third quarter and was scoreless over the last five minutes of play.

Fans arrived early, including Christina Edge, who moved to the Rowlett suburb of Dallas three years ago after spending thirty-five years living in Iowa. She said that getting to the College Park Center at the University of Texas-Arlington early would improve her chances of getting a picture taken with the basketball sensation, the Iowa Hawkeyes’ two-time national player of the year.

“I just want a picture with her because it’s my birthday,” Edge said, adding that her son gave her the ticket as a birthday present. She carried a posterboard banner promoting that plea in bright yellow. Outside the arena, nine-year-old Pailynn Amos was also sporting a yellow Clark jersey and holding a placard that said, “When I grow up, I wanna be just like her.” Mommy Pailynn Amos drove from the town of Ennis, which took her around an hour.

Rebecca remarked, “I watched her (on TV) like crazy.” Thus, Paiylynn simply grew to be with her. Then we thought, “Wow, she’s in Dallas now.” In fact, we could visit her!” When Indiana’s starting were unveiled prior to tipoff, Clark was met with a thunderous applause. Even though Clark was well-liked by many, she wasn’t given much leeway by Wings supporters. One woman yelled, “Get her!” as she dribbled past her opponent near midcourt in the first half. Grab her.

The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks hosted the LA Clippers in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series on the same night as the WNBA’s inaugural preseason match, which took place roughly 20 miles away. The Fever played their first of two exhibition games before Clark makes her debut in the regular season on May 14 against the Connecticut Sun.

Soon after it was published on the Dallas schedule, all 6,251 seats were sold out. Greg Bibb, the president and CEO of the Wings, expressly requested the game when Clark stated in February that she would leave college to join the WNBA with one year of eligibility left. In December of last year, Indiana was the first pick in this year’s lottery.

The Fever’s arrival at DFW International Airport was seen on camera by a local news team on Thursday. Clark responded to the request to autograph a couple’s ultrasound photo at Friday morning’s media session. “That was undoubtedly a first,” she chuckled.

Wings center Kalani Brown stated, “I’m really grateful for Caitlin’s bringing all this attention to women’s basketball. It’s really great.” It’s excellent for our game. The Fever center Aliyah Boston, who won the women’s collegiate player of the year award prior to Clark’s run and was named the WNBA rookie of the year the previous season, remarked, “This is what women’s basketball has deserved for quite some time now.” “It’s not too late to do this. I’m definitely looking forward to this league’s future developments.

The Wings announced last month that they had sold all 2,500 of the season tickets available. During the regular season, Indiana will make two trips back to College Park Center: one day after the MLB All-Star Game, which is held at the Texas Rangers’ home stadium less than three miles away, and one day before the WNBA’s almost month-long Olympic break. There’s also a Sept. 1 show by The Fever.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *