Praise pours in as Caitlin Clark captures Naismith Trophy as National Player of the Year
Caitlin Clark’s magical season reached another milestone on Wednesday afternoon. The 6-foot superstar guard from West Des Moines was officially awarded the Naismith Trophy as the nation’s Jersey Mike’s Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year.
Clark beat out fellow finalists Aliyah Boston of South Carolina, Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley and Maddy Siegrist of Villanova. She joins Megan Gustafson as the second national Player of the Year winner in the history of Iowa women’s basketball.
Clark has enjoyed a remarkable season, averaging 27.3 points, 8.6 assists, and 7.3 rebounds per game. Her points per game average ranks third nationally, while her assists per game mark is tops in the country. Clark led the country in assists per game last season as well.
“Well, thank you. First of all, congratulations to you two, [Aliyah Boston and Maddy Siegrist], and also Elizabeth Kitley. Tremendous seasons. It’s been very fun following all of you. And I think what you’ve done for our game, it’s been tremendous and it’s been really fun to watch and follow.
“But when I was here in Minnesota last year, you know, my goal was to be here with my team. And just that’s the most important thing to me, is to be at the Final Four competing with my team. And I know this award is impossible without every single one of you back there, and I truly mean that. So, it’s just as much yours as it is mine, and same with our coaches. And I came to the University of Iowa with a dream to be here and competing for a national championship, and these two believed in me more than anything, Coach [Lisa] Bluder, Coach [Jan Jensen]. I love you and your belief in this team and this program.
“It means so much to me and what we’ve been able to achieve. But lucky enough, I have a few more years, too. And then obviously my family, you’ve been my support. My two brothers aren’t here today, but just as much as my parents, I love them to death. And it’s been a long journey but a super fun one. Ups and downs and hardships. But I’m just super thankful and to the committee that votes for this. Obviously, our game has grown so much. I know this is a super hard decision and can go to any single player, and even I think, I believe more than just four people in America. So, I’m just very lucky and honored and thankful more than anything,” Clark said in her acceptance speech.
Love for her game poured in as Clark was crowned as the nation’s finest.
National Player of the Year
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫 😤@CaitlinClark22 is the winner of the 2023 @NaismithTrophy. #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/rUlnRETDM5
— Iowa Women's Basketball (@IowaWBB) March 29, 2023
Best in the land!
𝒯𝐻𝐸 𝐵𝐸𝒮𝒯 𝒫𝐿𝒜𝒴𝐸𝑅 𝐼𝒩 𝒯𝐻𝐸 𝒞𝒪𝒰𝒩𝒯𝑅𝒴
Caitlin Clark is the @jerseymikes Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year🏀 pic.twitter.com/zaqXlOgGfR
— Naismith Awards (@NaismithTrophy) March 29, 2023
Caitlin Clark has won the 2023 Naismith Player of the Year Award
She joins Megan Gustafson as the only other Hawkeye to win the award. pic.twitter.com/tat0gs2U2Q
— Kyle Huesmann (@HuesmannKyle) March 29, 2023
NAISMITH family for life! 💛
I’m so proud @CaitlinClark22 you deserve this!! 🏼 https://t.co/njGqKWvONJ
— Megan Gustafson (@GustafsonMeg10) March 29, 2023
Introducing your Naismith Player of the Year 🏆#WFinalFour x @CaitlinClark22 pic.twitter.com/494jvNZ9d8
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessWBB) March 29, 2023
The ONLY school
The ONLY School with 3 Naismith Player of the Year award winners in the last 5 years:
THE University of Iowa pic.twitter.com/FZowFCqcX3
— B1G Mhawk (@B1G_Mhawk) March 29, 2023
The Naismith National Player of the Year is a Hawkeye. Congratulations, @CaitlinClark22 !! 💛🖤 pic.twitter.com/B7NL3a0NqN
— University of Iowa (@uiowa) March 29, 2023
The moment, the speech
Watch @CaitlinClark22 win the Naismith POY! Pure class and humility. #Hawkeyes #FinalFour pic.twitter.com/zgtRlxdznU
— Heavens! (@HeavensFX) March 29, 2023
Nothing she can't do!
Logo threes, triple-doubles – There’s nothing @CaitlinClark22 can’t do. ⚡️
The @IowaWBB junior averaged 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 8.8 assists in route to the Final Four and now she’s POTY.@NaismithTrophy 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗬𝗲𝗮𝗿 pic.twitter.com/jC3RC1zzIo
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 29, 2023
Caitlin Clark is your NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR. Absolutely deserving of the title. Now onto the Final Four.
— Barstool Iowa (@BarstoolUIowa) March 29, 2023
Chuck Long celebrates
Congratulations @CaitlinClark22!!! https://t.co/CxUf96lOYM
— Chuck Long (@ChuckLongIowa) March 29, 2023
That's OUR NPOY!
That’s our NPOY!!!!! 🖤💛🖤💛🖤💛
— katie💫 (@katiejo_ia) March 29, 2023
Naismith past checking in on Naismith present
Naismith past checks in on Naismith present. #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/VR5lDALMae
— Dargan Southard (@Dargan_Southard) March 29, 2023
Looks like a great recruiting pitch to us
Caitlin Clark getting Iowa to a Final Four, winning national player of the year and more– that's a great recruiting pitch for Jenica Lewis.
Jenica is the No. 1 prospect in the 2026 class. Out of Johnston, Iowa.
— David Eickholt (@DavidEickholt) March 29, 2023
We can dream, though, right?
(No, don't assume that's her announcing she's returning for a fifth year– that decision will be made after next year)
— David Eickholt (@DavidEickholt) March 29, 2023
It would be glorious
If Caitlin plays for 5 years, she’s going to break so many records. It will be glorious.
— Sam (@sammmidd) March 29, 2023
Dreams come true!
Hell yes @CaitlinClark22 dreams do come true. Player of the Year!
— Irrational Hawkeye (@IrrationalHawk2) March 29, 2023
All is right
all is right with the world
— PlannedSickDays (@PlannedSickDays) March 29, 2023
The absolute best!
THE ABSOLUTE FREAKING BEST!!!! https://t.co/y6F7sHNUsy
— Hawkeye Elvis (@HawkeyeElvis) March 29, 2023
HUZZAH!!! CAITLIN WON BEST PLAYER FROM THE NAISMITH.
— Matt, Dr. Bunny Keeper 🐰 (@05HAWKI) March 29, 2023
Couldn't be Iowa
Imagine not having a Naismith Award winner on either your men’s or women’s basketball team 💅
— Barry in Iowa (@BarryinIowa) March 29, 2023
Even South Carolina fans know it
Caitlin Clark deserves to be named the women’s National player of the year this season. It would be like Johnny Manziel not getting the Heisman back in 2012.
She’s worth the price of admission and even South Carolina fans know it.
— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) March 29, 2023
Hold on, need to check something out...
Gonna tear my ACL running to the tweets of the salty South Carolina fans.
— Ed Podolak’s Mustache (@edsstache) March 29, 2023
Contact/Follow us @HawkeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Iowa news, notes, and opinions.
Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshOnREF