Iowa Hawkeyes Women’s Basketball uard Caitlin Clark has captivated America throughout her fantastic run in the NCAA Tournament. The Junior guard is a basketball savant, and is reminding many of players like Steph Curry, Larry Bird, and Pete Maravich.
Caitlin Clark is Larry Bird, point blank. Carrying her team to the title game.
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) April 1, 2023
She’s simply transcendent. She’s averaging a smooth 27 points, nearly 8 rebounds and 8 assists for her career, and has been at her best in this tournament.
Caitlin Clark has saved her best for this tournament, though. In the Elite Eight, she had a 41-point triple double, with 12 rebounds and 10 assists, to beat Louisville.
But, the performance that elevated her to legend status was Friday night’s performance against previously undefeated South Carolina. She dazzled with another 41-point game, captivating America in what ended up being the most-watched college basketball game on ESPN, men’s or women’s, since 2008.
Caitlin Clark in the Final Four win vs #1 South Carolina:
41 points (most in Final Four history)
We are all witnesses. pic.twitter.com/bv6lpeql2q
— Teg🚨 (@IQfor3) April 1, 2023
But, she might be a better person than player, and that’s saying something. Recently, The Athletic wrote about how Clark is using NIL to make a positive impact in her community. She’s doing work for a food pantry, and refuses to take money in return.
Boller reached out to Clark through her uncle, who was helping with her business opportunities. The food pantry had every intention of paying Clark to help with fundraising and community outreach. But Clark insisted she wanted to help for free, and last year, it was her idea to hold an in-person donation drive. Anybody who brought a personal care item — including menstrual products, shampoo or soap — got to meet Clark and take a picture with her. Among those who showed up with items were some of the people who use the food pantry as a service.
“I’m not going to lie. Things have been really hard around here for the past three years. People are really, really struggling just to gain access to one of the most basic human rights, food,” Boller said. “The families who are turning to us for support are just going through really hard times. So to have an interruption where we get to connect with this incredible person, who just so happens to be one of the most incredible basketball players that we’ll ever see in our lifetime — to have her step foot in the building and to link arms with us in this way to do some good — it was just really special.”
Clark teamed up with the food pantry for a month last year during March Madness to help raise $22,000 in honor of her No. 22 jersey. In a month, the pantry raised $23,000. This year, the pantry raised $16,000 in its first week of the campaign alone.
Wow. Awesome work, Caitlin Clark.