Former NIL Top Earner Clark Inexplicably Snubbed From US Olympic Team

Former NIL Top Earner Clark Inexplicably Snubbed From US Olympic Team

The USA Women’s Basketball Olympic team found themselves in a lose-lose situation as they needed to make a decision on megastar Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark‘s status.

Basketball Insider Shams Charania reported that Clark was expected to be left off the roster in the early hours of Saturday morning. When he shared the full roster a few hours later, the star was indeed missing.

The full team is as follows: A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, Alyssa Thomas, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, Sabrina Ionescu, Chelsea Gray, Kahleah Copper.

There is a lot of talent on this roster at the guard position, but the star power of Clark brings the decision into question because of all the eyes that she would continue to bring to the fast-growing popularity of women’s basketball.

Her popularity is what might have actually kept her off this team, though.

USA TODAY’s Christine Brennan reported that two veteran U.S. basketball players said that the potential backlash from limited playing time for Clark played a factor in her not being named to the roster.

This omission seems to be made worse if that were the lead factor, as it would be something out of her control.

So far this season, she’s averaging 16.8 points, 6.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game and was named the WNBA Rookie of the Month for May.

Her best game of her career came on Friday as she scored 30 points while shooting 7-for-13 from the field as Indiana edged out the Washington Mystics by a score of 85-83. She added eight rebounds, six assists and four steals to the performance.

The former Iowa Hawkeye has been the dominant topic of the sport since she was in college and became one of the first stars of the NIL era.

She’s recently been embroiled in some controversy over hard fouls delivered to her in games, but overall, her presence has been very positive for the sport.

Millions of fans have started following the WNBA since her arrival, and even more could have made the jump if she was given the chance to represent the country in the Olympics, which makes this look like a huge missed opportunity.

No matter the playing time given to her, she should be there for the betterment of women’s basketball.

She is just 22 years old, so she will have plenty of chances to make a roster in the future, but it seems like they could have taken better advantage of her current star power.

Ability-wise, she is still within the WNBA’s Top-15 scorers despite some rookie inconsistencies and her presence on one of the worst teams in the league.

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