Iowa’s Caitlin Clark named AP Player of the Year

caitlin clark

DALLAS — Caitlin Clark has put together one of the greatest single seasons in NCAA history with stunning offensive numbers.

However, the Iowa junior guard salvaged their best performance for the game’s biggest stage, hitting the first 40-point triple-double in NCAA history to bring Iowa back into the Final Four for the first time in 30 years.

Clark was named Basketball Player of the Year by The Associated Press on Thursday. She received 20 votes from the 28-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25 each week. Voting was conducted before March Madness began.

“It’s a great honor,” Clark said. “I chose a place where I fit in perfectly and where I could show off my skills. I would be lying if I said it didn’t mean anything. It’s not why you play basketball, it’s just something that comes with doing what you love.”

The Iowa coaching staff surprised Clark by announcing that she had won the award while visiting Iowa Children’s Hospital – a place dear to her heart. It also has major ties to the Hawkeyes athletic department.

They put together a video of some of the kids in the hospital congratulating Clark on a stellar season, and in the middle, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder appeared on screen to tell her she’d won.

“I’m here to inspire the next generation and to be there for the people that you know are going through a tough time,” said Clark, who grew up in Iowa. “Being able to bring joy to people watching you play and watching your team play is amazing.”

She averaged 27.0 points, 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds during the season to help Iowa go 26-6. Clark has 984 points, the sixth-highest in a season by any player in Division I women’s history. She also has over 300 assists.

“She is spectacular. I don’t know how else to describe what she does on the basketball court,” Bluder said.

Next up for the Hawkeyes is undefeated South Carolina in the national semifinals. The Gamecocks are led by Aliyah Boston, last season’s award winner. She garnered the other eight votes that season.

“There are so many great players, more than just me and (Aliyah),” Clark told the AP. “You can go on and on and list the great players. I think it’s really good for our game when there are a lot of great players. That will help this game grow more than anything.”

Whether it’s hitting deep 3s off the Hawkeye logo at home games, unbalancing game-winning shots, or throwing teammates pinpoint passes for easy baskets, Clark excelled on the court this year to bring Iowa to a venue to bring where it hasn’t been for a long time.

“It’s funny because the better the opponent, the better they almost play,” said Bluder. “It’s like she embraces it when we play top 25 teams. Then their stats increase even more against big opponents.”

Clark is the second Iowa player to win the AP award in recent seasons, after Megan Gustafson, who won it in 2019.

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark named AP Player of the Year originally appeared on

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