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NCAA women's basketball

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark named Associated Press women’s Player of the Year

Iowa's Caitlin Clark posses for a photo at a press conference after she was introduced as the AP Player of the Year Thursday in Dallas.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Caitlin Clark put together one of the greatest individual seasons in NCAA history with eye-popping offensive numbers.

Iowa’s junior guard, though, saved her best performance for the game’s biggest stage, recording the first 40-point triple-double in NCAA history to get Iowa to the Final Four for the first time in 30 years.

Clark was honored Thursday as The Associated Press women’s basketball Player of the Year. She received 20 votes from the 28-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25 each week.

“It’s a huge honor,” Clark said. “I picked a place that I perfectly fit into and that’s allowed me to show my skill set. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t mean something. It’s not the reason you play basketball, it’s just something that comes along with getting to do what you love.”


The Iowa coaching staff surprised Clark by sharing that she won the award while they were visiting the Iowa Children’s Hospital — a place near and dear to her. It also has huge ties to the Hawkeyes athletic department.

They put together a video of some of the children in the hospital congratulating Clark on an outstanding season, and in the middle of it, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder popped on the screen to tell her she won.

“I’m there for inspiring the next generation and being there for the people that you know are going through a hard time,” said Clark, who grew up in Iowa. “Being able to give joy to people that watch you play and watch your team play is amazing.”

She averaged 27.0 points, 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds during the season to help Iowa go 26-6. Clark has 984 points, the sixth-most in a season by any player in Division I women’s history. She also has over 300 assists.


“She is spectacular. I don’t know how else to describe what she does on the basketball court,” Bluder said.

Next up for the Hawkeyes is undefeated South Carolina in the national semifinals. The Gamecocks are led by Aliyah Boston, last season’s winner of the award. She garnered the other eight votes this season. “There’s so many great players, more than just me and [Aliyah],” Clark told the AP. “You can go on and on and list the tremendous players. I think that’s really good for our game when there’s a lot of great players. That’s what is going to help this game grow more than anything else.”

Indiana’s Teri Moren AP women’s Coach of the Year

Teri Moren, who led the Indiana women’s basketball team to its first Big Ten regular season championship in 40 years, a No. 2 ranking in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll and the school’s first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, was honored as the AP women’s basketball Coach of the Year. In winning the award for the first time, Moren received 12 votes from the 28-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25 each week. South Carolina’s Dawn Staley was second with eight votes. Utah’s Lynne Roberts received five and Virginia Tech’s Kenny Brooks three . . . LSU coach Kim Mulkey says she hasn’t spoken to Brittney Griner since the former Baylor star returned to the US from a Russian prison. But Mulkey says she’s glad Griner is back and safe. Mulkey and Griner won a national title together at Baylor. Mulkey was criticized in September for not offering any words of support or encouragement for Griner, when she was still being held after her arrest on drug-related charges. Griner came out after her Baylor career and criticized her former coach, saying Mulkey forced her to keep her sexual orientation private.