Caitlin Clark—possibly the most well-known athlete in the world—has not been included on the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team for 2024, sources told USA Today Sports.

Clark is known for her incredible long-range shoots, accurate passes, and record-breaking performances that have wowed crowds and won her WNBA Rookie of the Month awards.

But she was unexpectedly passed over by USA Basketball.

Decisions were apparently impacted by worries about how Caitlin Clark’s millions of supporters would respond to her probably limited playing time on a star-studded team.

Two longtime U.S. basketball veterans said this, talking to USA Today Sports anonymously because the matter is so delicate.

If accurate, this underscores the remarkable conflict that exists between the well-known figures in women’s basketball and this multimillionaire phenomenon who routinely signs autographs for dozens of kids.

Dominant but underappreciated: American women’s Olympic basketball

Compared to gymnasts, swimmers, runners, and women’s soccer players, the U.S. women’s Olympic basketball team—unbeaten since 1992—often gets less media attention despite the players’ unmatched success. The fight for media attention during the Olympics is intense, with multiple events and medal ceremonies taking place every day. As a result, the accomplishments of the basketball team may go unnoticed.

Clark, 22, has the potential to attract millions of fans globally to women’s basketball.

USA Basketball lost an opportunity to use her enormous influence to raise awareness of the sport.

They might have respected the heritage of the collegiate game by utilizing her fame, as selectors did in the past when college stars like Christian Laettner, Rebecca Lobo, Diana Taurasi and Breanna Stewart played in the Olympics. An opportunity to spread enthusiasm for women’s hoops around the world has been lost.

See also  Casting Caitlin Clark and other WNBA talents for the 2024 Summer Olympics women's basketball team

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