Connecticut goes all out for Caitlin Clark's WNBA debut

WNBA

Published May 14, 2024 at 7:52 PM EDT

Updated May 15, 2024 at 1:19 AM EDT

Even Connecticut caught Caitlin Clark Fever.

The basketball superstar, the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer, made her WNBA debut with the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The Fever took on the Connecticut Sun at a sold-out Mohegan Sun Arena. The last time the Sun had a sold-out home opener was in 2003, during the Sun’s inaugural game at the arena.

Sun season-ticket holder Karalyn Meineke stood in the concourse before the game, checking out the scene. Her sister, Kelly, held a sign that said: “Caitlin who.”

"You can just see that it’s not really a Sun atmosphere," Karalyn Meineke said. "It’s more of a Caitlin Clark atmosphere. But hopefully everyone who’s in Connecticut will continue coming throughout the season."

Clark scored 20 points as the Fever fell to the Sun, 92-71.

During her introduction, Clark got a warm welcome from the crowd in Connecticut — a state that knows a thing or two about basketball, considering UConn's longtime domination in the sport for both women and men.

Among those in the crowd: Geno Auriemma, the UConn women's basketball coach.

Several people held signs and some said this was their first time catching a WNBA game. Several folks in the crowd donned Iowa Hawkeyes jerseys in honor of Clark and her record-setting college career.

Many were excited to catch Clark's WNBA debut.

Lisa Bachman and Suzy Lowman have been friends for 30 years, but this was their first WNBA game together. Bachman’s from Pennsylvania and Lowman’s from Delaware; they made the five-hour drive to Uncasville.

“This is history-making tonight with her coming into the league," Bachman said. "That’s why we’re here to support her and the league itself.”

Suzanne Scallion couldn't help but remember a different time — when she was in high school. Back then, the boys rode buses to away games and were given free jerseys, while she and her teammates had to buy their jerseys and drive themselves to away games.

“We’ve come a long way, baby, but we have a long way to go," she said.

Scallion had a sign, too. It said: “Raise the Pay for WNBA.”

“Caitlin’s got the full package and she’s dazzling," she said. "It’s time that this sport gets the recognition it’s due.”

Clark started her debut out slow — just two points in her first 11 minutes of action.

The home team was tough on Clark and they double-teamed her a lot.

“I think all of us would’ve enjoyed to play better," she said after the game. "I think we would’ve loved to win. I didn’t really feel much pressure coming into this game. I was trying to just do whatever I can to help the team and help us win.”

Up next for Clark and the Fever: back home again in Indiana for their home opener. They'll take on the New York Liberty on Thursday.

Read more
Similar news
This week's most popular news