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Rachel Nichols Believes Caitlin Clark Shouldering the Burden of Women’s Basketball Cost Her the NCAA Championship

Prateek Singh

Rachel Nichols Believes Caitlin Clark Shouldering the Burden of Women's Basketball Cost Her the NCAA Championship

Caitlin Clark‘s incredible NCAA season ended with a loss at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks. This was her second straight NCAA finals loss after losing to LSU in 2023. According to Rachel Nichols, there is more to this year’s loss than what meets the eye. On a recent episode of the UNDISPUTED show, she talked about how the pressure of carrying the sport on her back made Clark crumble at the finish line.

Nichols said that since last year and especially in the last few months, almost everyone unanimously decided that Clark is the one who is going to take the women’s basketball forward. With the type of momentum she had going for herself and with all the hoop world’s attention on her, fans hoped that this would finally be the time when women’s basketball gets to shine.

It must be a bittersweet experience for Clark as well because on one hand, she is leading a movement, but on the other, she has to endure the intense pressure at the age of 22.

She also outlined that when Clark was on the court, she was the only target for the opposition’s defenders and in the process, she endured a tremendous amount of physicality.

“She would have to be superhuman for all four quarters and mentally, that is just an incredible weight to carry.”

The fact that Iowa Hawkeyes made to the finals twice in NCAA tournament speaks for the Clark’s influence on the game and team. The 22-year-old averaged 31.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 8.9 rebounds this season, per NBA, while breaking records on her way to the finals. Clark might not have the trophy to her name, but she has already achieved greatness and the legends of the games are applauding it.

Caitlin Clark got her flowers from the legends of the game

Clark might be able to find some grip after the devastating loss in the fact that her impact on the game didn’t go unrecognized even without winning a trophy. After a crushing 75-87 loss, thousands of fans which also included some of the biggest names of the game gave her major props on the internet.

Rachel Nichols Believes Caitlin Clark Shouldering the Burden of Women's Basketball Cost Her the NCAA Championship
Credits: USA Today Sports

LeBron James kept it straight and simple by stating that the only people who don’t recognize Clark are the haters. He posted, “If you don’t rock with Caitlin Clark game you’re just a FLAT OUT HATER!!!!! Stay far away from them people!! PLEASE.”

WNBA legend Sue Bird also shared her thoughts on X by stating that even without a ring, Clark is bidding farewell as a bonafide legend of college basketball. She wrote, “We undoubtedly watched one of the all time best college careers….ring or not. Thank you for helping elevate our sport with your play, your poise, and of course your logo 3’s!” Bird added that she can’t wait to see Clark’s domination in the next chapter of her life.

About the author

Prateek Singh

Prateek Singh


Prateek is a Senior NBA Writer for The SportsRush. He has over 900 published articles under his name. Prateek merged his passion for writing and his love for the sport of basketball to make a career out of it. Other than basketball, he is also an ardent follower of the UFC and soccer. Apart from the world of sports, he has followed hip-hop religiously and often writes about the origins, evolution, and the biggest stars of the music genre.

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