MAGIC MOMENT: Caitlin Clark gets the seal of approval from an NBA legend as Iowa basketball star says goodbye to her collegiate career and hello to the WNBA.

Magic Johnson gives Caitlin Clark ‘her flowers’ in high-praise social media post

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Caitlin Clark set, and broke, her own record three times in her final three college games.

Iowa’s 2023 championship rematch against LSU in the Elite Eight averaged over 12 million viewers and peaked at 16 million, then the most-watched women’s college basketball game on record.

Then, their Final Four matchup against UConn surpassed that, and their championship game against South Carolina blew right past it.


Caitlin Clark claps

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Final Four game against the UConn Huskies at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on April 5, 2024, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Gamecocks’ win over the Hawkeyes drew in 18.7 million viewers to ABC’s coverage with a peak of 24 million viewers during the game, according to ESPN. The number is up 89% from last year and 285% from the 2022 national championship.

ESPN said the game was the most-watched sporting event outside of American football and the Olympics since 2019.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley thanked Clark for “lifting up our sport,” and the soon-to-be No. 1 WNBA Draft pick received further praise from basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

“Caitlin Clark’s extraordinary play this season has been the catalyst for growing women’s basketball, with record-breaking viewership throughout the tournament,” Johnson wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “She deserves her flowers and I want to congratulate her on an incredible collegiate career!”

Caitlin Clark reacts to play

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes shouts during the LSU Tigers game in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at MVP Arena on April 1, 2024, in Albany, New York. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)


Clark set numerous records this season, but perhaps none more prestigious than becoming the all-time leading scorer in both men’s and women’s basketball college, passing LSU’s Pete Maravich earlier this season. With her 30 points scored in the loss to the Gamecocks, Clark finished her career with 3,921 points, while averaging 31.7 points per game this season.

Clark wasn’t able to hoist the NCAA title trophy in the end, though, despite the fantastic season the Hawkeyes had. They started off really well, going on a 10-0 run to begin the game, and Clark finished the first quarter with 18 points.

However, she cooled off after that as South Carolina’s Raven Johnson played fantastic defense, holding her to 5-of-20 shooting.

Caitlin Clark celebrates

Caitlin Clark reacts as confetti rains down during Iowa’s senior recognition after the Ohio State game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, on March 3. (Julia Hansen/USA Today Network)

Still, the loss for Clark and the Hawkeyes doesn’t take away how successful a season it was and personally how great her career has been.

Magic Johnson brushes aside Caitlin Clark and applauds Kamilla Cardoso: I’m really impressed

Magic Johnson.

Magic Johnson.LAPRESSE


AMarch Madness unfolds, the women’s games continue to captivate fans with their thrilling performances. Following intense matchups in the Final Four, anticipation builds for the national title showdown. Among the spectators is basketball icon Magic Johnson, who, despite his admiration for Caitlin Clark‘s clutch plays, has declared his allegiance to another player and team.

In a stunning victory, South Carolina secured a commanding 78-59 win over NC State, propelled by Kamilla Cardoso‘s stellar performance of 22 points and 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, the clash between UConn and the Hawkeyes was marred by controversy as a contentious referee decision deprived the Huskies of a chance to turn the tide in the final moments.

Despite the debate surrounding the officiating, the stage is set for an electrifying championship game between the Gamecocks and the Hawkeyes, reviving memories of their intense encounter in the 2023 Final Four.

Magic hails Cardoso

Johnson, known for his outspoken support, wasted no time in expressing his admiration for both teams. While acknowledging Caitlin Clark‘s brilliance, he also lauded Hannah Stuelke for her contributions, emphasizing the collective effort of the Hawkeyes.

“Another great all around performance for South Carolina to advance to the NCAA National Championship game,” Magic wrote on X.

“I’m really impressed with how Kamilla Cardoso carried her team on the offensive end in the first half. Coach of the Year Dawn Staley said Ashlyn Watkins would be a key player to get the win and she showed up by grabbing 20 rebounds off the bench, the new NCAA tournament record! Congrats to the entire team and coaching staff for a chance at a perfect season on Sunday!”


WNBA mock draft 2024: Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso landing spots?

The WNBA Draft will take place on Monday, April 15.

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese will both go in the Top 10.

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese will both go in the Top 10.LAPRESSE


With women’s basketball on a sharp upwards trajectory thanks to the stellar play of college teams like South CarolinaIowaLSU and more, more eyeballs than usual will be on the WNBA going forward.

On Monday, April 15, several college basketball stars will hear their name called in the 2024 WNBA Draft. This is what the first round could look like.

Angel Reese shows off new grill and hair choice for WNBA Draft night

      Indiana Fever: Caitlin Clark, PG, Iowa


      LA Sparks: Rickea Jackson, SF, Tennessee


      Chicago Sky: Cameron Brink, PF, Stanford


      LA Sparks: Kamilla Cardoso, C, South Carolina


      Dallas Wings: Aaliyah Edwards, PF, UConn


      Washington Mystics: Angel Reese, PF, LSU


      Minnesota Lynx: Jacy Sheldon, SG, Ohio State


      Chicago Sky: Isobel Borlase, PG, Australia


      Dallas Wings: Alissa Pili, SF, Utah


      Connecticut Sun: Dyaisha Fair, PG, Syracuse


      New York Liberty: Charisma Osborne, SG, UCLA


    Atlanta Dream: Jessika Carter, C, Mississippi State

Caitlin Clark will be the 1st overall pick

Clark is fully expected to be the 1st overall pick following a legendary career at Iowa. Although Clark’s Hawkeyes fell short to the indomitable South Carolina Gamecocks in the final, Clark will get a nice consolation prize.

Reese garnered a ton of hype over the past few seasons and was a national champion, but WNBA scouts still have some doubts about how her offensive game will translate to the league.



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