Mar 31, 2023 - Sports

How Caitlin Clark went from Dowling to college basketball's biggest star

Caitlin Clark cheering

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates after defeating the Louisville Cardinals in the Elite Eight. Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Caitlin Clark has a big head. Literally.

What's happening: The Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star is such a phenom, the Iowa Cubs just launched her own bobblehead. She's garnered the praise of legends like Lebron James and Magic Johnson.

State of play: Tonight's game against South Carolina is expected to draw record-breaking viewership as the Hawkeyes play in their first Final Four since 1993.

How it started: The West Des Moines native got her start here, and her rocketship to athletic fame became apparent during her time at Dowling Catholic High School.

  • Caitlin's dad, Brent, struggled to find a girl's league for her to join while she was growing up — so she joined a boys' team, where she showed her gift early.
  • In second grade, after her team won the Amateur Athletic Union boys' state tournament, a parent complained saying a girl shouldn't be competing with the boys, Brent told KCCI.

But at Dowling Catholic, Clark really shined. By her sophomore year, head coach Kristin Meyer already knew she could make it to the WNBA or the Olympics.

  • Her practices drew in Division I scouts from schools like Notre Dame who watched her make her signature three-pointers and were eager to recruit her.
  • However, she wanted to join a team where she could immediately make a difference and committed to Iowa, the Register reported.

The intrigue: After committing, Clark shared with the Register that her goal was to reach the Final Four.

  • Coach Lisa Bluder "cringed" when she read that.
  • But these days, "we keep talking about destiny and how it’s supposed to happen, and it is happening," Bluder told the Quad City-Times.

The bottom line: Go Hawks!


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