Caitlin Clark’s Response To Reportedly Being Left Off Team USA Shows Why She’s A Class Act

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

Micah Allen Contributor
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Much of the basketball world was shocked, even outraged, to hear the report Saturday that WNBA rookie superstar Caitlin Clark is going to be left off of Team USA’s roster for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. She has since responded with nothing but class and confidence.

The leaked list reported Saturday by ESPN showed the top draft pick’s exclusion from the team, which has yet to be officially announced. The report has sparked outrage among Clark’s fans and many in the basketball world.

While the argument could be made that Clark has not yet reached the level of play required to earn such an honor, as she had only played eleven professional games prior to the roster’s creation, this would not be an abnormal occurrence. ESPN also noted that Diana Taurasi (2004), Candace Parker (2008) and Breanna Stewart (2016) were all invited to play for the team during their respective rookie seasons.

There were also several players selected to the team who Clark has clearly outperformed in her rookie season. She leads Diana Taurasi in nearly every major statistical category and Chelsea Gray has not played a single game this season due to injury. Team USA also includes players with similar statistics to Clark like Brittney Griner and Jewell Lloyd.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JUNE 01: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever arrives prior to the game against the Chicago Sky at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on June 01, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Clark, who has already been subject to outrageous hate from her fellow players, has every right to be angry. She could choose to take out her anger on WNBA counterparts, but Clark used this opportunity to prove that she is ready for this national profile. (RELATED: Sky’s Angel Reese Alleges ‘Nasty Work’ Harassment, But The Video Tells A Completely Different Story)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 02: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever works against Courtney Vandersloot #22 of the New York Liberty during the third quarter in the game at Barclays Center on June 02, 2024 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Luke Hales/Getty Images)

Clark expressed her excitement for the women who were chosen, according to ESPN, saying Sunday, “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.”

Clark went further, saying that she does not consider it a disappointment, but something to work harder for. She is using this as fuel, as motivation to hit another level, all while staying quiet and humble. In her first game following ESPN’s report, Clark dropped thirty points. Her team won 85-83 over the Washington Mystics. Indiana Fever head coach Christie Sides informed reporters that after the game Clark told her, “Hey, Coach, they woke a monster.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 07: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever is fouled by Ariel Atkins #7 of the Washington Mystics in the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena on June 07, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 07: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever handles the ball against the Washington Mystics at Capital One Arena on June 07, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

Clark’s humility and drive for greatness show a maturity that is rare for any 22-year-old, particularly one who has gained a large amount of fame in such a short time. She has remained poised and classy at every turn, continuing to prove that she is more than just an elite college player. She is prepared to take on this challenge both on and off the court.