How Caitlin Clark is inspiring young girls in Idaho to play basketball

Posted at 1:09 PM, Apr 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-07 15:09:19-04

NAMPA, Idaho — Allie Nielson plays for SEI Elite and her team competed in the Crash the Boards Tournament in Nampa over the weekend. Nielson wears number 22 for a reason.

"I love Caitlin Clark," said Nielson. "She’s my Idol and I wear number 22 because of her."

Allie Nielson

Caitlin Clark has rewritten the record books passing "Pistol" Pete Maravich as the all-time leading score in NCAA history, Clark broke Stephen Curry's record for most three-pointers made and if there is an accolade or an award Clark has probably won it.

"I think Caitlin Clark is a beast," said Lexi Kessler of SEI Elite. "Iowa and their whole team is just really good and they are fun to watch."

Lexi Kessler playing defense in an SEI Elite victory

SEI Elite would go on to win the Crash the Boards Tournament and when you ask them what makes Clark such a special player, the answer is pretty simple as they've noticed her work ethic.

"She motivates me to get in the gym more and just get better," said Kessler.

"She works hard in everything she does and she never gives up," said Nielson. "It makes me want to get in the gym too and her effort, I want to give all when I get on the court."

Caitlin Clark is changing the game

Caitlin Clark is not only inspiring the next generation of players, but she's also changing the game. Every once in a while in sports a once in a generation player comes and we are seeing that right now with Clark.

The Iowa-Uconn semi-final was the most watched women's basketball game in history. That broke the record of the previous Iowa game when they beat LSU in a rematch of last year's national championship game in the Elite Eight.

Elite Eight television ratings

That game drew in 14.2 million viewers and it's the most watched basketball game ever on ESPN. In comparison to the men's Elite Eight games it got more eyeballs then every game except the Duke-North Carolina State game which had 15.1 million.

The Iowa Hawkeyes play South Carolina in the national championship game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on ABC. The girls of SEI Elite can't wait to see how Caitlin Clark performs in her final collegiate contest.

Iowa's Caitlin Clark

"I think Iowa will get them, Caitlin Clark is going to go off," said Nielson. "She’s probably going to drop 40," added Kessler.

While Caitlin Clark is taking the women's game to new heights it is also important to mention that so many great players came before her to propel the game into position for Caitlin Clark mania.