Iowa women’s basketball player Caitlin Clark wins National Player of the Year

Clark joins Megan Gustafson, who won the award in 2019, as the only Hawkeyes to have earned the title.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark runs the ball down the court during the 2023 NCAA Sweet Sixteen women’s basketball game between No.2 Iowa and No.6 Colorado at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle on Friday, March 24, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buffaloes, 87-77.

Chris Werner, Assistant Sports Editor

Iowa women’s basketball junior guard Caitlin Clark was named the Naismith National Player of the Year Wednesday afternoon. 

Clark, who was a finalist for the award last year, is averaging 27.3 points, 8.6 assists, and 7.3 rebounds this season. 

Clark thanked her Hawkeye teammates and coaches as she accepted the award.

“Winning this award is a huge accomplishment,” Clark said. “This is such a huge honor for our family and program. None of this would be possible without my tremendous support system. I was to thank [Iowa head coach] Lisa Bluder and her staff for giving me the opportunity to play basketball at the University of Iowa. It is a place I have thrived in since I stepped on campus.”

This season, she beat out three other finalists for the award — South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley, and Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist. Boston was named National Player of the Year last season. 

Iowa, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech are all still alive in this year’s NCAA Tournament’s Final Four, and Iowa and South Carolina will face off on Friday at 8 p.m. for a chance to go to the national title game.

This season, Clark led the Big Ten in scoring and assists per game. She leads the nation in assists per game and is third behind Siegrist and Drexel’s Keishana Washington in scoring. 

Clark is in the top five nationally in a bevy of other offensive categories. Her five triple-doubles — including a historic 41-point, 12-assist, and 10-rebound performance against Louisville on Sunday night — are three more than any other player this year. 

She is the first Division I women’s basketball player to tally more than 900 points and 300 assists in the same season. Her 984 points are the second most in a single season in Big Ten history, according to Hawkeye Athletics, behind former Hawkeye Megan Gustafson, who won the National Player of the Year in 2019.

This season, Clark has accounted — either by scoring or assisting — for 57 percent of Iowa’s offense. The Hawkeyes have scored a nation-leading 87.6 points per game this season.