Will Women’s Basketball Crumble If Caitlin Clark Can’t Deliver?

The 2024 WNBA draft will take place on Monday night in New York City. Projected No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark isn’t messing around during her down time in the Big Apple.

The reigning two-time Naismith Player of the Year and AP Player of the Year even embarked on a new television journey. On Saturday night Clark made his debut on the hit comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live.” 

In a week of firsts for the sharpshooter from Des Moines, Iowa making the big screen at 30 Rockefeller Center and the “SNL” set had to be the highlight. That is until Monday night when her name will be the first one called by WNBA commissioner Cathy Englebert to kickoff what’s to be a pretty heavy talent-laden draft. 

Clark Pays Homage To Those Who Came Before Her

During her skit, Clark was quick to honor all of the great women players who helped pave the way for her and so many others like Sheryl Swoopes and Cynthia Cooper who led the Houston Comets to the first four WNBA championships.

Appearing on the ever popular “Weekend Update” segment of the show Clark took a subtle jab at comedian Michael Che, who’s long taken shots at both women sports and the WNBA. Although Clark’s response to Che’s jabs was definitely scripted as is all SNL skits, she didn’t miss. Clark even asked Che to read some jokes she wrote for him. 

“The Indiana Fever have the first pick in this Monday’s draft. A reminder that the Indiana Fever is a WNBA team and not what Michael Che gave to dozens of women at Purdue University.” 

Clark quickly jumped in saying….

“Now that’s a joke about women’s sports.” 

“This year, Caitlin Clark broke the record for three-pointers in a season, and I have three-pointers for Michael Che. 1- Be, 2- Funnier, 3. Dumbs—.” 

Why So Much Attention For Clark?  

The attention Clark continues to receive is a bit bothersome for many. Some fans were wondering why Clark — and not Angel Reese or a player from the champion South Carolina Gamecocks squad — was the choice for SNL.

It’s the same question they asked when Ice Cube offered Clark $5 million to be the first woman to play in his 3-on-3 BigLeague.

Point-blank, no current basketball player in the NBA or WNBA moves the meter quite like Clark, who’s got the world at her feet. 

She’s so popular that the reigning two-time defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces moved their only regular season home meeting with the aforementioned Fever from the 12,000- seat Michelob Arena at Mandalay Bay to the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena. 

This has got to be a whirlwind from Clark. The jealousy, the adulation, the expectations, the challenges, the apprehension. She is carrying the weight of women’s basketball on her shoulders and the casual fan can sometimes have expectations that exceed that of the regular basketball viewer. Let’s see if she can handle the whole weight, once she’s selected as the No. 1 overall pick in Monday’s WNBA Draft.

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