Clark Adds AP Player Of The Year, Wade Trophy


Another day meant two more national player of the year awards for Iowa’s Caitlin Clark.

Clark was named the Associated Press women’s basketball national player of the year on Thursday, and later in the day was named the winner of the Wade Trophy, the national player of the year award from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Clark was also named a finalist for the Wooden Award by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. That award will be presented on Monday.

Clark is the first Hawkeye to win the Wade Trophy, the oldest national player of the year award in women’s basketball. She is the first Big Ten player to win the award since Purdue’s Stephanie White won the award in 1999.

It’s been a busy week for Clark and the Hawkeyes, who are in Dallas for the NCAA Women’s Final Four. Iowa plays South Carolina in one of Friday’s semifinal.

Clark won the Naismith Trophy on Wednesday. Her teammates have been with her at every ceremony in Dallas.

“It makes all of this stuff all the more special,” Clark said. “When it comes to game time tomorrow, I’m going to be completely locked in, 100 percent locked in. We’ve had plenty of time to scout, watch film, and practice, and do all this other stuff as well.

“So I’m just trying to enjoy every single second. It’s so hard to get to this point. It’s hard to make the Sweet 16, let alone the Elite Eight, let alone the Final Four. So I’m just trying to enjoy every single second and take it for what it is and not worry too much about every single thing that’s ahead of me. Just enjoy the moment.”

For the AP honor, Clark received 20 votes from the 28-person panel that votes in the wire service’s poll every week during the season. Voting was done before the beginning of the NCAA Tournament.

It is the second honor she has received from the AP this month. She was a unanimous first-team All-American selection.

Clark is averaging 27.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. She accounts for 57 percent of Iowa’s offensive output in points and assists.

“I think it’s hard for it to set in right now because I’m so focused on continuing to play basketball and continuing to win basketball games,” Clark said of the awards. “I think, after this season is over, I’ll be able to reflect and really enjoy everything this team has been able to do together.”

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said there has been plenty of focus on Clark this week, with the national awards as well as Friday’s matchup against the top-ranked team in the nation.

“I honestly just want to take the pressure off of Caitlin,” she said. “She just came in here and received all these awards this week. She knows a lot of eyes are going to be upon her, and I want everybody else to step up and help carry that weight for her because that’s a lot. That’s a lot for a 20-year-old.

“So I’m just going to try to take the focus off of her as much as I can and put it on the rest of my team because they want to kind of help shoulder that.”

Photo: Iowa guard Caitlin Clark signs autographs after the Hawkeyes’ win over Georgia in the NCAA Tournament. (Keith Gillett/Icon SportsWire)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s