Caitlin Clark tops list of alternates for women’s Olympic basketball team: report

Caitlin Clark tops list of alternates for women’s Olympic basketball team: report

Caitlin Clark was not selected as one of the first 12 players to make the U.S. Olympic women’s national basketball team, but there still appears to be a chance she could be representing the Stars and Stripes in Paris.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania said Monday on FanDuel TV’s “Run It Back” that the Indiana Fever rookie is on top of the alternates list in case one of the 12 players gets injured.

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Caitlin Clark, #22 of the Indiana Fever, celebrates during the game against the Washington Mystics at Capital One Arena on June 7, 2024 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

“I’m told Caitlin Clark and Brionna Jones are atop the alternates list for Team USA if there is needed to be a replacement,” Charania said.

Jones is a two-time All-Star who has spent her entire eight-year career with the Connecticut Sun. She is averaging 13.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Sun this season.

Clark’s reported snub from the Olympic roster sparked a firestorm over the weekend.

Clark was the No. 1 pick of the WNBA Draft back in April after leading Iowa to back-to-back national championship games and setting the mark for all-time scoring in college basketball. She was unable to attend the national training camp in Cleveland after she was invited because Iowa was in the Final Four.

Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas

Alyssa Thomas, #25, and Brionna Jones, #42 of the Connecticut Sun, look on during the game against the Atlanta Dream during the 2024 Commissioner’s Cup game on June 2, 2024 at Gateway Center Arena in College Park, Georgia. (Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Over the last two years, Clark has drawn millions of new fans to the game. The Iowa-South Carolina national championship was the most-watched women’s college basketball game. Her games with the Fever are among the top in WNBA ratings this season, not to mention the fan support she has received at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and elsewhere.

WNBA veterans Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner are reportedly set to be on the roster along with Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd, Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young. Alyssa Thomas, Sabrina Ionescu and Kahleah Copper will be first-time Olympians.

Clark took the high road when asked about being left off of the roster.

“I’m excited for the girls who are on the team. I know it’s the most competitive team in the world and I know it could’ve gone either way – me being on the team, me not being on the team,” she said, via The Athletic. “So, I’m excited for them. I’m going to be rooting them on to win gold. I was a kid that grew up watching the Olympics. So, yeah, it’ll be fun to watch them. 

Caitlin Clark shoots free throw

Caitlin Clark, #22 of the Indiana Fever, poses for a portrait at Gainbridge Fieldhouse during her introductory press conference on April 17, 2024 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Matt Kryger/NBAE via Getty Images)

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“No disappointment. I think it just gives you something to work for. That’s a dream. Hopefully, one day I can be there. I think it’s just a little more motivation. You remember that. And hopefully in four years, when four years comes back around, I can be there.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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