AP Player of the Year in women’s hoops for 2nd straight season – Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark: Unofficial ambassador for women's basketball | weareiowa.com

CLEVELAND — Caitlin Clark, capping off an extraordinary college career, continues to rewrite the record books while garnering prestigious accolades.

The standout guard from Iowa was named The Associated Press Player of the Year in women’s basketball for the second consecutive year, a testament to her dominance on the court.

Clark secured 34 votes from the 35-member national media panel responsible for the AP Top 25 rankings. The remaining vote went to Cameron Brink of Stanford. It’s worth noting that the voting took place before the onset of March Madness.

At 22 years old, Clark joins an elite group of players, becoming the sixth to win the award multiple times and the fifth to achieve consecutive victories. Her name now stands alongside basketball luminaries such as Chamique Holdsclaw, Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Brittney Griner, and Breanna Stewart.

Expressing her gratitude, Clark remarked, “This is a tremendous honor to be on the same list as a lot of great players that I grew up idolizing. I grew up as a young kid watching them and wanting to be like them.”

Setting numerous records along the way, including becoming the NCAA Division I career scoring leader, Clark has propelled Iowa to consecutive appearances in the Final Four. As she prepares for a semifinal showdown with UConn, her remarkable play — characterized by logo-depth three-pointers and breathtaking passes — has captivated fans nationwide, with many sporting her No. 22 jersey in stadiums across the country.

Embodying the essence of inspiration, Clark recognizes the impact she has on aspiring young players like Love Johnson, a standout athlete from Cleveland, and her coach Shawn Cox, who were present at the award presentation. “If we’re at home or on the road, the arena is screaming. There’s young boys, there’s young girls that you know are inspired,” Clark remarked, reflecting on her journey.

Opposing coaches, including AP Coach of the Year Dawn Staley, have lauded Clark as a once-in-a-generation talent, yet her humility shines through as she credits her teammates and coach for her success. With eye-popping statistics — averaging 31.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists during the regular season — Clark has propelled Iowa to a stellar 29-4 record and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Her impact extends beyond the court, as evidenced by the soaring viewership numbers and the elevated status of women’s basketball. Clark’s impending selection as the No. 1 pick in the upcoming WNBA draft underscores her status as a transformative figure in the sport.

As Clark prepares to bid farewell to her collegiate career, her coach Lisa Bluder sums up her legacy succinctly: “She is spectacular. I don’t know how else to describe what she does on the basketball court.”

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