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Iowa's record-smashing Caitlin Clark could play two more seasons


Caitlin Clark electrified college basketball as a junior, leading Iowa to the brink of its first national championship in women's hoops.

The Hawkeyes came up short in the national title game Sunday afternoon, but Clark will undoubtedly be back in Iowa City for at least one more run.

"I'm lucky enough that this isn't my last time wearing an Iowa uniform," Clark said. "I just appreciate what we did here and everything we were able to accomplish. I feel like the sky's still the limit for myself and this program. It excites me that we've been able to build this and accomplish something like this."

LSU knocked off Iowa, 102-85, ending Clark's record-breaking NCAA Tournament in which she established new marks with 191 points, 60 assists and 32 3-pointers, all records for the event since it began in 1982.

Clark, 21, is ineligible for the WNBA draft until after next season. She could play another year on top of that, a fifth, if Clark opts to use the COVID-19 waiver.

She had five triple-doubles this season and scored 1,055 points to push her career total to 2,717 -- 811 from the all-time NCAA record set by the Washington Huskies' Kelsey Plum (2013-17).

By becoming a must-see attraction, Clark versus LSU pushed TV ratings to all-time levels and secondary market ticket prices for the women's championship game in Dallas on Sunday peaked above the price point for Monday's UConn-San Diego State title game in Houston.

"She's done so much but it's not just these three weeks," Iowa teammate Monika Czinano said of Clark on Sunday after her 30-point, eight-assist effort against LSU. "She's been doing it since she decided to play basketball. It's a progression to this point. We all know what a phenomenal basketball player she is, but it's the person she is behind it all that's inspiring these kids as well."

Clark said she's not at Iowa to set records or score points but to grow the game and have an impact on her faithful followers.

"I want my legacy to be the impact that I can have on young kids and the people in the state of Iowa, and I hope I brought them a lot of joy this season," Clark said. "I hope this team brought them a lot of joy. I understand we came up one win short, but I think we have a lot to be proud of and a lot to celebrate."

--Field Level Media

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