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Shannon Sharpe Believes Caitlin Clark Can Be Impactful for WNBA Even if She Doesn’t Score Points

Anushree Gupta
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Shannon Sharpe Believes Caitlin Clark Can Be Impactful for WNBA Even if She Doesn't Score Points

After a 5-year-long stint at the NCAA level, Caitlin Clark has now transitioned to the WNBA. Her impact in collegiate history is insurmountable, with numbers that lead the men’s and women’s basketball scores. However, her rookie contract with the Indiana Fever still lacked a few zeros, leading to intense criticism by the sports community. However, Shannon Sharpe believes Clark’s impact goes beyond just numbers, marking the beginning of a new era in women’s basketball.

As it turns out, Caitlin Clark already has a fan in former NFL star turned sportscaster, Shannon Sharpe, who recently shed light on what her induction into the WNBA means via ESPN’s First Take. Calling her a ‘grown woman’, he is already convinced that she would be just fine on the court. However, it is not just hooping that will see Clark’s imprint. Sharpe feels her impact will go far and beyond, creating more viewership for the WNBA, bringing in more sponsors, and making the landscape better and more impactful than before.

“I believe you can be impactful by doing things other than scoring the basketball,” Sharpe remarked. “And I think that’s what she is going to be able to do. I think she’s a boost of energy, a breath of fresh air for the WNBA and everybody should be happy because the more eyes watch, the more money that will come and the more money that will come will be more money that goes in your purses.”

 

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It isn’t a long shot from Shannon, as Caitlin Clark already endorses top-notch brands like Nike and Gatorade. She also made history with her red carpet look for the draft, being the first ever college women’s basketball star to be dressed by Prada. With a lot more to come, it only makes sense for the women’s basketball landscape to become better.

Despite the confidence, Shannon refrained from comparing her rookie year to that of Candace Parker just yet, which has raised quite a few eyebrows in the Basketball community. So, it’s safe to say that Caitlin’s performance in women’s basketball will remain a topic of intrigue even for the former NFL tight end. But a little preview of her effect on the basketball landscape was already available at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as Clark appeared for the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Caitlin Clark Enters the Pros with New Hope and More Attention Than Ever

Caitlin Clark’s coronation on Apr. 16, 2024, as the top draft pick wasn’t the only highlight of the night. The 2024 WNBA Draft already had an edge to itself this year, as this was the first event after 2014-16 to have fans onboard. However, Clark’s effect was visible with a marked increase in viewership, peaking at 2.45 million, per Front Office Sports.

The numbers stand on a different level as compared to the last few years, with 572,000 tuning in to witness the 2023 WNBA Draft. Her impact accounts for a surge in interest in women’s college basketball and the pros, to say the least. A comparison presented by FOS credited Clark for bringing in more viewership than the NHL and MLB drafts last year.

Though the picture seems vivid already, Caitlin Clark’s contract numbers have already created a buzz for being remarkably low, despite her status as the top pick. Accruing to a total of $338,056 in four years, it also matches the numbers for the other top three picks under the WNBA CBA.

Though the reality is gloomy, the questions have brought considerable attention to the lesser financial feasibility of women’s sports. The consequence? Becoming the talk of the town, it can bring in new sponsorship, and more viewers, and that means more money into everyone’s pockets, including the athletes, just as Shannon Sharpe inferred.

Post Edited By:Samnur Reza

About the author

Anushree Gupta

Anushree Gupta

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Anushree Gupta is a Content Writer at The Sports Rush. She has immersed herself in the world of the NFL for over a year. An architect by profession, her love for football led to the transition to sports journalism. Formerly a freelancer, she lent her writing talent to various sports including golf, basketball, and baseball. In 2023, she became a part of the Sportsrush NFL Content team, channeling her passion into covering NFL news. She has now authored over 250 articles and built a close connection with the sport. She is a Philly fan with one exception on her list, Tom Brady! Make sure to follow!

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