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Caitlin Clark Says She’s Not Disappointed Over Being Left Off Olympics Team, Tells Coach They “Woke a Monster”

The Indiana Fever rookie has been among the most hyped women's basketball stars ever, but that wasn't enough to secure a spot in Paris. 

By Daniel Carty

Basketball star Caitlin Clark’s dreams of representing the U.S. at the Olympics apparently won’t come true this summer in Paris.

Clark captivated the sports world this spring, breaking the NCAA basketball scoring record (for both women and men) en route to a March Madness Finals appearance with the Iowa Hawkeyes. Soon after, she became the first overall pick for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and expressed her hopes that she’d soon add Olympian to her burgeoning resume. But that doesn’t seem to be in the cards, at least not yet.

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Team USA hasn’t officially released its roster for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, but according to multiple reports, Clark will not be among the 12 players representing the U.S. in the City of Light. She’d been among the final 14 names under consideration for a slot on the team.

Caitlin Clark 2

Why didn’t Caitlin Clark get picked for the Olympics?

Despite huge name recognition and talent, Clark had an uphill climb in terms of experience. At just 22 years old, Clark would’ve been the youngest player by four years in a team dominated by veteran players. USA Today, citing two sources, reported that there were concerns at how Clark’s growing fanbase would’ve reacted to what would likely have been a limited role on the team (Sabrina Ionescu, Kelsey Plum, Diana Taurasi, Jewell Lloyd, Chelsea Gray, Jackie Young, and Kahleah Copper are all either outright guards, or capable of playing the position).

Clark Says She’s Still Rooting for Gold

Despite what is seen by many as a snub, Clark has remained positive about the U.S. roster decision.

"I'm excited for the girls that are on the team," Clark said Sunday, according to ESPN. "I know it's the most competitive team in the world and I know it could have gone either way — me being on the team or me not being on the team. I'm going to be rooting them on to win gold. I was a kid that grew up watching the Olympics, so it will be fun to watch them.

"Honestly, no disappointment. It just gives me something to work for; it's a dream. Hopefully one day I can be there. I think it's just a little more motivation. You remember that. Hopefully when four years comes back around, I can be there."

Christie Sides, Clark’s coach on the Indiana Fever, said her star player is using Team USA’s decision as extra motivation.

"The thing she said was, 'Hey, Coach, they woke a monster,' which I thought was awesome," Sides told reporters Sunday. "She's young, she's going to have so many opportunities in the future."

Caitlin Clark

Don't Miss

Watch live coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 26, on NBC and Peacock beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Telemundo will provide Spanish-language coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Primetime coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and Peacock.

Clark found out about the decision Friday, Sides said, and went on to drop 30 points on the Washington Mystics that night. On the young season, she’s averaging 16.8 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.3 rebounds.

With the next Summer Olympics set to take place in 2028 in Los Angeles, at least Clark won’t have to wait that long for her big Olympics break.

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