“I Was Scared” | Caitlin Clark Reveals She Was Afraid To Tell Muffet McGraw That She Was Flipping From Notre Dame To Iowa

As 2024 WNBA No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark prepares to begin her professional career on Tuesday, the former Iowa Hawkeyes legend is now opening up about some of her past. While, Clark starred for her in-state Hawkeyes that wasn’t always how it was suppose to go. In her four seasons in Iowa City, Clark led the Hawkeyes to back-to-back title game appearances while becoming the all-time leading scorer in college basketball (men’s and women’s). 

Clark became a phenomenon, and everywhere the Hawkeyes went they became the main attraction. After hearing Clark’s recent interview, folks in South Bend, Indiana, have to be wondering what could’ve been had Clark stuck with her verbal commitment to then Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw. Clark, a devout Catholic, seemed locked in with the Irish, and then she wasn’t. The dynamic sharpshooter decided that Iowa was the best place for her at the next level, and the rest is history. 

Why The Sudden Change? 

Originally, Clark verbally committed to McGraw and the Fighting Irish, but then she had a change of heart. The logo sniper says her family always wanted her to play in South Bend, but it didn’t sit right with her. In the new ESPN documentary series “Full Court Press,” Clark describes why she made the decision to attend Iowa. 

“It’s a lot of pressure having to choose and decide where you’re going to spend the four years of your life,” Clark said. “We’re Catholic, every person, like, idolizes Notre Dame. Like, that’s just what you do. I told a Muffet McGraw, one of the greatest coaches of all-time, that I’m gonna play for her.”

“I just knew like — something wasn’t sitting right with me,” Clark continued. “So, I tell my parents and I’m like, I think I’m gonna switch to Iowa. Which was hard, like, I was scared. I’m 17 years old and now I have to call Coach McGraw and tell her that I’m not coming. I remember sitting on my bed, and I’m like sweating. I’m like, ‘Oh, this is so bad. But I really loved the idea of being close to home.”

It’s safe to say the move played out great for Clark, who became the focal point of the Iowa attack. At Notre Dame there’s no guarantee that happens. Not long after the 2019-20 season ended, the two-time national championship-winning McGraw stepped down, turning the program over to longtime assistant Niele Ivey. 

Clark Changes The Fortune Of Iowa Program

After telling McGraw that she would no longer be heading to South Bend, Clark then made the call that would forever change the fortune of head coach Lisa Bluder and the Iowa Hawkeyes program. That call was I’ll be staying home and playing for the Hawkeyes. Bluder for the most part had given up hope on Clark coming to Iowa when you consider the Fighting Irish’s  track record with guards (Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jewell Loyd and Arike Ogunbowale) to name a few, and Clark being a devout Catholic. 

But that wasn’t the case.

“I was at a restaurant eating with my husband,” Bluder says in the documentary. “When she called I stepped outside to take the phone call. I tried to hold it down a little bit, but then I went back in and we ordered a bottle of champagne.”

What’s crazy is she had no idea what Clark would do over the next four years. That’s cultivate an entire community while turning a once a dormant women’s program into must-see TV. 

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