Breanna Stewart has one ‘wish’ after comments created Caitlin Clark stir

Breanna Stewart said she was slightly surprised that her recent comments about Caitlin Clark stirred controversy before the former Iowa guard was selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft on Monday.

The reigning WNBA MVP was asked about previous remarks, stating she believes Clark needs an NCAA title to be considered one of the greats in college basketball — and explained why the buzz is a good thing for the women’s game while at the Team USA Media Summit in New York City on Wednesday.

“It is a good thing that people are kind of continuing to have a debate and create controversy. Was I surprised? Yeah, I guess yes and no, because if you think about this question, it’s been asked on the men’s side over and over and over again… everybody’s arguing in different directions,” Stewart said, referring to the GOAT debate, which includes Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

Breanna Stewart speaks during the Team USA Media Summit at Marriott Marquis Hotel on April 17, 2024 in New York City. Getty Images for the USOPC
Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark, middle, poses with general manager Lin Dunn, left, and head coach Christie Sides following a WNBA basketball news conference, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. AP

“The one thing I wish is that, in women’s sports, I feel like people want to only have one person have success. This sport is so huge that we can all continue to grow together because on the men’s side I don’t think they do that… We need to widen our scope a little bit with all the players that we’re dealing with and that’s understanding who each player is and the stories behind their basketball career.”

An All-American point guard, Clark led the Hawkeyes to the NCAA championship in back-to-back seasons in 2023 and 2024, but came up short to LSU and South Carolina, respectively.

Stewart led UConn to four NCAA titles during her tenure from 2012-16 and was named the Final Four’s most outstanding player a record four times.

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes works against Raven Johnson #25 of the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first half during the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament National Championship at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on April 07, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio. Getty Images

The Liberty star, who was the No. 1 pick in 2016, went on to explain what challenges Clark and the incoming rookie class will face at the pro level.

“I’m really excited for what (Clark) is going to do in the W,” Stewart said. “The hardest part for her and all the other rookies is sustaining right now because you’re on this year where you’re going nonstop. That’s also something I remember.

“You just went a whole preseason, a whole season in college, a whole NCAA tournament and now you’re going to start right over and play the most games in the shortest amount of time that you’ve ever done in your life.”

Caitlin Clark arrives prior to the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024 in New York City. Getty Images

Stewart also praised Clark — the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer, men’s or women’s — for her role in growing the women’s game at the college level, and said she’s excited that it’s carrying over to the league.

“I think it’s amazing. The momentum behind women’s college basketball, March Madness, obviously Caitlin and what she’s been able to do and all the records she’s breaking, and that carryover to draft night. Someone said this to me earlier, and I think they said it perfectly, ‘We’re not talking about momentum anymore. We’re talking about like sustaining.’ And that’s really what it should be like,” Stewart said. “Now college basketball is over… watch the WNBA; WNBA will go on a pause, watch the Olympics.”

A record 2.45 million viewers tuned in to the 2024 WNBA Draft on ESPN to see the Fever select Clark with the No. 1 pick on Monday.

Caitlin Clark signs autographs before the WNBA Draft at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Brooklyn, NY. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Two days later, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Clark is nearing an eight-figure endorsement deal with Nike, which includes a signature shoe deal.

The 22-year-old Iowa native also reportedly received “sizable offers” from Under Armour and Adidas, industry sources told The Athletic.

Stewart has her own signature shoe with Puma.

Breanna Stewart #30 of the New York Liberty looks to pass against Kiah Stokes #41 of the Las Vegas Aces Game 3 of the 2023 WNBA Finals at Barclays Center on Oct. 15, 2023.
Michelle Farsi/New York Post

Clark was the only collegiate athlete to be invited to the Team USA 14-player training camp roster in Cleveland — which she missed due to playing in the Final Four — to train for the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer.

Stewart said she doesn’t know who will be named to the final 12-player roster and when it will be released.

The WNBA will open training camps on April 28, and the season starts May 14.

The Fever open the season at Connecticut, and Indiana hosts the Liberty on May 16.


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