Clark claims Naismith Trophy
Iowa junior honored as women’s basketball’s Most Outstanding Player
DALLAS — University of Iowa junior Caitlin Clark is the recipient of the 2023 Naismith Trophy, the most prestigious individual basketball honor presented annually to women’s college basketball’s most outstanding player. The announcement was made on Wednesday by Eric Oberman, Atlanta Tipoff Club executive director.
“Winning this award is a huge accomplishment,” Clark said. “This is such a huge honor for our family and program. None of this would be possible without my tremendous support system. I want to thank Lisa Bluder and her staff for giving me the opportunity to play basketball at the University of Iowa. It is place I have thrived in since I stepped on campus.”
The most dominant player in women’s college basketball, Clark has already been recognized as the Big Ten Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, as well as The Athletic National Player of the Year. A unanimous first-team Associated Press and all-Big Ten honoree, Clark also excels in the classroom being voted the 2023 Academic All-American of the Year. Clark is also a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, Wade Trophy, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Dawn Staley and Nancy Lieberman awards.
Clark has captivated audiences with her style of play, posting unprecedented numbers of 984 points, 311 assists, 262 rebounds, 127 3-pointers, 56 steals and 20 blocks in leading the Hawkeyes to a historic season. She is the first Division I women’s basketball player to record more than 900 points and 300 assists in the same season. Her 984 points are second most in a single season in Big Ten history (1,001 by Gustafson in 2019).
Clark leads the nation’s best offense averaging 27.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. She accounts for 57 percent of Iowa’s offensive output in points and assists.
She leads Division I in several statistical categories including assists per game (8.6), 3-pointers made (127), and triple-doubles (5).
In Iowa’s four NCAA Tournament games, Clark is averaging 30 points, 11 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 4.8 3-pointers and 2.5 steals.
Clark is one of three Hawkeye recipients of the Naismith Trophy since 2019, and the second women’s player. Megan Gustafson was the 2019 honoree, while Luka Garza was chosen in 2021.
Clark, who was a finalist in 2022, edged out last year’s winner Aliyah Boston of South Carolina, Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley, and Maddy Siegrist of Villanova.
South Carolina’s Dawn Staley repeated as Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year, and Boston repeated as Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Clark’s Hawkeyes and the Gamecocks are set to take each other on in the women’s national semifinal on Friday night.