all scores

Yes, Caitlin Clark gets mad on the court. No, she won’t apologize.

img
(Joseph Cress/USA TODAY NETWORK)

Caitlin Clark is one of the biggest names in the game heading into March Madness.

But the Iowa star’s prowess hasn’t just captured the college basketball world’s attention. Her skills also have caught the eye of NBA star Kevin Durant.

“When you couple her edge with her skills and her IQ, that’s what takes her over the top and makes her rare,” Durant told the Washington Post. “She can pretty much do everything on the floor, score from any angle, shoot deep threes and create for her teammates. But she has that feisty side to her.

“She has that dog in her, as people call it. She’s trying to do everything for her team because she can’t lose.”

Clark has relied on “that feisty side” to stand up to other people’s judgment.

For example, when she was in elementary school, her parents enrolled her in a local boys’ basketball league. After Clark helped lead her team to a blowout victory, a parent from the opposing team demanded Clark and her teammates forfeit the game for playing with a girl. That request was denied, and Clark went on to win league MVP.

“They were really [upset] about how a girl could beat all these boys,” Clark said. “I definitely deserved MVP. It wasn’t a pity award.”

Her take-no-prisoners attitude stayed with her as she entered the collegiate ranks, earning her both cheers and jeers as she has flashed her 3-point range and scoring abilities.

“There’s always backlash that I take too many shots or that I’m a ball hog,” she told the Washington Post. “My assist numbers speak for themselves, too. I’m scoring. I’m facilitating. I’m leading.”

The 21-year-old guard has received criticism for her admittedly hot head, which has resulted in fouls at times. But she won’t apologize for showing her emotions on the court.

“I get mad,” Clark admitted. “You have reactions that you don’t always love in the heat of battle. I’m full of passion no matter what I’m doing. I’m going to give you every single part of me. I’m going to give my heart to this. I want young girls to know that you can play with joy and passion.”

But Iowa coach Lisa Bluder, who dubs Clark “the best player I have ever coached,” doesn’t like the double-standard that persists between the men’s and women’s games.

“What makes me upset is that a men’s basketball player can act like that, and he’s just being a player,” Bluder said. “But if a women’s basketball player does the same things, oh, it should stop. I don’t know why we should be judged differently based on our sexes. I hope she changes some of these conversations.”