Iowa women’s basketball guard Caitlin Clark wins Associated Press National Player of the Year, Wade Trophy

The junior won her second national honor on Thursday morning.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark hypes up the crowd during the 2023 NCAA Second Round women’s basketball game between No. 2 Iowa and No. 10 Georgia at a sold-out Carver Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, March 19, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Lady Bulldogs, 74-66.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

DALLAS — Iowa women’s basketball junior guard Caitlin Clark is 2-for-2 so far in major national player of the year honors.

Clark won the Naismith Award — one of four major honors — in Dallas on Wednesday, beating out South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist, and Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley.

Early Thursday morning, the Associated Press announced Clark as its national player of the year.

“It’s a huge honor,” Clark said in a statement. “I picked a place that I perfectly fit into and that’s allowed me to show my skill set. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t mean something. It’s not the reason you play basketball, it’s just something that comes along with getting to do what you love.”

And this time, Clark knew about the AP National Player of the Year award in advance.

Clark found out about her AP player of the year honor while she was on a visit to the Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City ahead of the NCAA Tournament.

After visiting with kids at the hospital, Clark and her coaches watched a video together of patients at the hospital wishing her luck in the tournament. At the end of the video came a familiar face: head coach Lisa Bluder. And a grin spread out across Clark’s face.

“Here today, I just want to let you know,” Bluder said, “You are the AP National Player of the Year.”


The media voted on the national player of the year before the tournament began, and Clark received 20 of the 28 first-place votes.

She is the second Iowa women’s basketball player to be the national player of the year — former Hawkeye Megan Gustafson won the honor in 2019. Clark and Gustafson stand as the only Big Ten players to win the award since it was established in 1995.

“There’s so many great players,” Clark said in a statement. “You can go on and on and list the tremendous players. I think that’s really good for our game when there is a lot of great players. That’s what is going to help this game grow more than anything else.” 

Clark has also been named The Athletic’s National Player of the Year in 2023, as well as Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-Big Ten.

She’s a finalist for the Wooden Award and Wade Trophy — two more national player of the year awards — as well as the Ann Meyers Drysdale, Dawn Staley, and Nancy Lieberman awards.

The Ann Meyers Drysdale Award is given to the best shooting guard in the nation, while the Dawn Staley Award honors the best guard and the Nancy Lieberman Award is the best point guard.

As the Hawkeyes’ floor general, Clark averaged 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game in 2022-23. Between points and assists, Clark accounts for 57 percent of Iowa’s offense.

“Caitlin is spectacular,” Bluder said. “I don’t know how else to describe what she does on the basketball court.”

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association also announced Clark as the Wade Trophy winner on Thursday. The Wade Trophy is named after former Delta State University head coach Lily Margaret Wade, who won three consecutive national championships.

“On behalf of the WBCA, I am honored to present women’s basketball’s highest honor, the Wade Trophy, to Caitlin Clark,” WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew said in a statement. “… Her extraordinary season has stretched the record books for both women’s and men’s basketball. She has led Iowa to its second Women’s Final Four and she has electrified fans and media to an exciting new level. She is an exceptional player whose dominance has inspired the next generation of women’s and girls’ basketball players.”

Currently, Clark has 984 points in the 2022-23 season — sixth-most in Division I history and second-most in the Big Ten.

She’s 18 points away from breaking Gustafson’s Big Ten record of 1,001, set in 2019. Clark has a chance to break that record when second-seeded Iowa takes on top-seeded South Carolina in the Final Four on Friday in Dallas. The game tips off at 8:30 p.m.

Facebook Comments