When Caitlin Clark first announced her arrival in college basketball in 2020

Right now, perhaps no other college basketball player has been more talked about than Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, and for good reason, too.

The new NCAA men’s and women’s all-time leading scorer is also reaping the financial benefits of her fame. She’s valued at $3.1 million in NIL deals, making her one of the highest-valued NIL athletes in the nation.

Driven With Confidence: How Caitlin Clark Became A Hawkeye - Sports Illustrated Iowa Hawkeyes News, Analysis and More

However, every superstar has to start somewhere, and it’s an interesting thing to look back now on. A video of Clark’s first college game for the Hawkeyes has resurfaced, and it’s an indication of amazing things that were in store for the young woman in Iowa City:

Posted by X user SSN Jay-O, the video featured highlights from the Hawkeyes’ game versus in-state rivals, the UNI Panthers. They won 96-81 on a dominant performance from the then-freshman, who tallied 27 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

The video has garnered 82.1k views.

Caitlin Clark’s freshman year at Iowa

If her first-ever college game is any indication, it was clear from the get-go that Caitlin Clark was a generational talent.

It was only a matter of time that she proved herself at a higher level of competition in NCAAW D1, considering that she was already turning heads in her high school days at Dowling Catholic in West Des Moines.

She entered college as the Iowa Miss Basketball in high school, so there was a lot of hype for her coming in. But her immense talent and skill level turned her into always the “one” player for her high school team, which she apparently struggled trusting her Hawkeyes teammates early on (via Just Women’s Sports).

Iowa v Purdue

Here’s what former teammate Monika Czinano said about the freshman Clark:

“There was a lot of growth to be done in the team compartment. “She’d had to be The Person for so many years that it was apparent that she was going to need to trust us. … That takes time when you’re, like, a child prodigy.”

Hawkeyes assistant coach Jan Jensen added that Clark hated losing so much as a youngster that her emotions tended to boil over into her teammates and resulted in occassional technical fouls.

Either way, Caitlin Clark was always destined to be the amazing player she is now. With Iowa basically going championship or bust this March, things could get even better.

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