Caitlin Clark Reveals UConn’s Recruitment Snub Still Bothers Her Ahead of 2024 NCAA Tournament

Caitlin Clark’s final NCAA Tournament will hopefully be one to remember. But as she reflects on her sensational college basketball career, she can’t help but remember getting turned down by UConn. 

UConn is the gold standard of women’s college basketball. Head coach Geno Auriemma has won 11 national titles with the Huskies, producing dozens of WNBA players along the way.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Clark wanted to play for UConn when she was in high school.


 Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark (22) in action against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Getting recruited by UConn means your a top player in the country. So when Clark never heard from the Huskies, it felt like a slap in the face.

“Honestly, it was more I wanted them to recruit me to say I got recruited,” Clark told ESPN. “I loved UConn. I think they’re the coolest place on Earth, and I wanted to say I got recruited by them. They called my AAU coach a few times, but they never talked to my family and never talked to me.”

Programs like Iowa State, Texas, Oregon and Oregon State recruited Clark when she was still in high school. But it was Iowa and Notre Dame who ended up as finalists.

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Clark wound up having a last-minute change of heart. After originally committing to Notre Dame, she flipped her commitment to Iowa and the rest is history.

“I’m 17 years old and I’m sitting in my room and I’m sweating my a** off,” said Clark. “I’m about to call (Muffet McGraw). She is an intimidating individual. She was really understanding. She kinda knew. She was great. Then I called Coach (Lisa) Bluder.”


Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark (22) in action against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

 Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark (22) in action against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Clark and the Hawkeyes have a chance to meet UConn, but it would have to be in the Final Four. Iowa is the No. 1 seed in the Albany 2 region while UConn is the No. 3 seed in the Portland 3 region.

The Huskies will likely have to get past No. 2 seed Ohio State and then No. 1 seed USC to potentially meet Iowa in the Final Four.

Clark and the Hawkeyes, meanwhile, have their sights set on winning the national title after falling short a year ago. Iowa begins tournament play this Saturday, Mar. 23 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.

Can’t get enough March Madness coverage? Athlon Sports has you covered. Check out our 2024 March Madness page for predictions, insight and analysis to help you fill out your 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket.

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