Magic Johnson has credited Kobe Bryant for Caitlin Clark‘s rise to stardom as a women’s basketball player in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Averaging 28.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per match, Clark, a 5-foot-11 guard from Iowa Hawkeyes, has been among the tournament’s most powerful performers. The Hawkeyes will take on South Carolina on Monday in the Elite Eight after she guided them there.
In reference to the 2023 NCAA tournament, Johnson feels that women’s basketball has the potential to take off. He felt that there was an appetite for interesting players to emerge, and Clark was his first choice. The 12-time NBA All-Star praised her confidence and referred to her as the “female Stephen Curry.” More significantly, he believes that for women’s basketball to advance, it needs athletes like her.
Kobe Bryant, in Magic Johnson’s opinion, is the primary factor in the success that women’s basketball has seen. He spoke, “You know, I want to thank also Kobe Bryant, the late Kobe Bryant. He worked out with a lot of these women who are in college basketball. So the game has exploded for women. We think about the ratings some of the highest they’ve ever had. We had so many superstars play like superstars, that’s what I like too. And so the lady’s game is on the rise.”
The NBA Superstar arrived with information. 9.9 million people watched the nail-biting match between Angel Reese’s LSU and Iowa State, setting a record for a women’s NCAA championship match. The match also broke the female Final Four attendance mark, drawing 19,482 spectators to the American Airlines Centre.
Caitlin Clark had a phenomenal NCAA tournament in March 2023
In March 2023, Caitlin Clark led the Iowa Hawkeyes to their inaugural national championship match during the NCAA tournament. Throughout the competition, Clark broke the record for scoring and assists in just one tournament, averaging 31.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per game. Additionally, she made 41 points, which is a record for a player in a single men’s or women’s tournament. (h/t via ESPN)
The game in the national finals was where Clark gave her finest remarkable performance. However, Clark put on a display, tallying 41 points for Iowa, including 18 in the fourth quarter, but LSU won the tournament by 102-85.
Caitlin Clark’s 41 points are the most in a National Semifinal Game in Men’s or Women’s NCAA Tournament history pic.twitter.com/uSxQxtEKbV
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 1, 2023
The efficiency in the NCAA tournament solidified Clark’s position among the top women’s basketball players. She won National Player of the Year honors twice and is anticipated to go first overall in the WNBA draft. Her contribution to the improvement of her team is even more amazing than her own achievements.
Clark’s competence and strategic thinking helped the Hawkeyes beat Louisville, who were the No. 5 seed in the tournament, and get all the way to the national championship game.