Caitlin Clark wins back-to-back James E. Sullivan Awards for the first time in its 94-year history, as WNBA star is chosen over an Olympic wrestler and Paralympic swimmer

Caitlin Clark has won back-to-back James E. Sullivan Awards for the first time in the award’s 94-year history, off the back of recently being selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft.

The Iowa basketball star claimed the award on Tuesday night. The James E. Sullivan Award goes to the most outstanding athlete at the college or Olympic level in the US.

Caitlin Clark Named Winner of 93rd AAU James E. Sullivan Award – University  of Iowa Athletics

Clark’s high school coach, Kristin Meyer, accepted the award on the Indiana Fever point guard’s behalf at the New York Athletic Club. Clark provided her acceptance speech via Zoom. She was drafted by the Fever, earlier this month, after leading Iowa to the NCAA Final Four for a second year running.

Voting by the public, the AAU Sullivan Award committee, AAU board of directors, sports media and previous winners decided the winner.

The other finalists were Olympic wrestler David Taylor, Olympic speed skater Emery Lehman, gymnast Frederick Richard, Texas volleyball player Madisen Skinner and Paralympic swimmer Noah Jaffe.

Caitlin Clark's award win comes after she was selected as the first pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft

Caitlin Clark’s award win comes after she was selected as the first pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft

The 21-year-old was selected by the Fever after leading Iowa to another Final Four appearance

The 21-year-old was selected by the Fever after leading Iowa to another Final Four appearance

Caitlin Clark is practicing with the @IndianaFever so she was unable to attend the AAU James E. Sullivan Award ceremony where she became the first two-time winner in the award’s 94-year history.

Accepting the award for Caitlin was her Dowling Catholic coach, Kristin Meyer. Cool… — Keith Murphy (@MurphyKeith)

The award also honors leadership, citizenship, character and sportsmanship on and off the playing field.

‘The AAU Sullivan Award is an incredible honor,’ Clark said via Zoom.

‘I have been inspired by so many athletes that came before me and I hope I can be that same inspiration for the next generation to follow their dreams.’

She’s been the main driver for the dramatic uptick in women’s basketball interest with her mix of deep 3-point shots, flashy thread-the-needle passes and overall court presence.

A women’s basketball-record 18.9 million viewers watched Iowa’s loss to South Carolina in the NCAA title game, and a WNBA-record 2.45 million watched the draft.

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