Caitlin Clark is essential for Team USA, Lisa Leslie says: ‘We should not leave the country without her’

Caitlin Clark must be on the Olympic team, according to one of basketball’s greats.

Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark must play for Team USA  in the 2024 Paris Olympics according to WNBA legend Lisa Leslie.

Clark received an invitation to Team USA tryouts last month, but she could not attend after the Hawkeyes reached the Final Four. Iowa ultimately lost to unbeaten South Carolina in the national championship game.

Clark was the only collegiate player invited to the camp and is eligible to still make the roster that finalizes later this summer, per NBC Sports. Clark projects to be the No. 1 overall pick in Monday’s 2024 WNBA Draft.

Lisa Leslie Thinks Caitlin Clark Needs To Go To The Olympics

“She better be on the Olympic team,” Leslie said during a recent interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “We should not leave the country without her. She’s a bona fide baller. There’s no doubt she’s already one of the best players in the world.”

Leslie helped Team USA win several gold medals during her playing days. Team USA seeks its eighth-straight gold in women’s basketball. Among other notables invited to last month’s Team USA camp were Diana Taurasi, A’ja Wilson, Brenna Stewart. Taurasi and Stewart drew headlines recently after being critical of Clark, who leaves college basketball as one of the best ever in the women’s game.

“Reality is coming. There’s levels to this thing,” Taurasi said during the NCAA Tournament about Clark.

“And that’s just life, we all went through it. You see it on the NBA side and you’re gonna see it on this side where you look superhuman playing against 18-year-olds, but you’re gonna come with some grown women that have been playing professional basketball for a long time.

“Not saying that’s not gonna translate, because when you’re great at what you do, you’re just gonna get better. But there is gonna be a transition period where you’re gonna have to give yourself some grace as a rookie and it might take a little bit longer for some people.”

Clark leaves women’s college basketball without a national championship leaving many questioning her legacy and ranking among the sport’s all-time greats.

Former WNBA star Rebecca Lobo said Clark isn’t in the “GOAT” conversation because she never won a title with the Hawkeyes.

“For me, she is the best offensive player that I have ever seen, at least in the last 30 years that I have been either playing or calling women’s college basketball,” Lobo said on ESPN before South Carolina’s win over Iowa. “When you get into the GOAT conversation, does she need to win a national championship to be considered the GOAT?

I don’t think so. I think she needs to win multiple national championships to be in that kind of conversation because when you look at the history of the game, Candace Parker won two championships at Tennessee, Diana Taurasi won three championships at UConn. …

Caitlin Clark will face a 'transition period' in WNBA, claims UConn legend  Diana Taurasi, as retired star warns 'reality is coming' for Iowa's  two-time Player of the Year | Daily Mail Online

Breanna Stewart won four championships, not only won four championships, she was the Most Outstanding performer in four Final Fours.

“Caitlin is an incredible player. She has done more in terms of bringing attention and eyeballs to the women’s game than any player we have ever seen. That’s a mere fact.

But when you want to talk about the GOAT conversation and you add championships to the mix, you have to understand the history of the game.”

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Clark set numerous all-time scoring records with her all-time high 3,951 career points at Iowa, showed a passing skillset at a level few players ever have in the women’s game and routinely hit 3-pointers from well beyond the arc with a nightly shooting display that transcended the sport.

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