Caitlin Clark’s College GPA Has Heads Turning

Caitlin Clark's College GPA Has Heads Turning

Caitlin Clark wowed everyone on the college basketball court, but that didn’t mean she was a slouch in the classroom.

The numbers tell the tale. Not only did Clark earn hefty paychecks through name-image-likeness deals while at the University of Iowa, but she also secured an impressive GPA.

In March 2023, the Hawkeyes star was named to the Academic All-America team for women’s basketball with a GPA of 3.60, according to Hawkeye Sports.

Consistent Academic Achievements

What made the feat even more impressive was that it was the second year in a row that Clark earned Academic All-America honors. That made her only the third Iowa athlete to achieve that distinction.

Clark followed that up with an even higher GPA the next year. Fans had seen how competitive Clark was on the basketball court, and she took that same approach to academics.

According to Heyong-Tak Lee, one of Clark’s Marketing Research professors, she wrote an exam the day after the Hawkeyes won the Big 10 championship game.

Lee told Iowa’s Tippie College of Business in September 2023, “She never acted like someone who was a celebrity and winning a lot of national awards. ‘I can’t not give it my all.'”

In her final year at Iowa, Clark had an impressive GPA of 3.64. Fans marveled at the academic accomplishment when Clark’s GPA became public. One fan wrote on X, formerly Twitter, “One more reason to admire the hell out of her.”

Transition to the Pros

Given her academic success, the decision to leave school a year early was not one Clark took lightly. Clark announced on February 29 that she would be declaring for the WNBA Draft following the 2023-2024 college season.

Clark had played four years as an Iowa Hawkeye, but had an extra season of eligibility due to a truncated season during the COVID-19 outbreak.

She explained, “I’ve had quite a few conversations with our coaching staff, and they were always very supportive in trying to help me understand both sides and see both sides.”

A week later, Clark spoke about how tough it was to decide to leave Iowa for the pros.

Several WNBA pros had weighed-in on whether Clark should make the leap before she had made her choice.

Former WNBA All-Star Sue Bird thought Clark would benefit at the next level. She said on the Sports Media podcast, “If I am Caitlin Clark, I am coming out of college.”

Impact of Tippie College of Business

Clark was drawn to the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. Nancy Abram, an associate marketing professor there, made an impact on the basketball star.

Clark told Tippie in September 2023, “She brought in a lot of students who worked at places like Amazon and Microsoft who talked about how they got where they are in their career..She really engaged me with marketing.”

That knowledge of marketing turned out to be invaluable for Clark both during her tenure at Iowa, and her upcoming time in the pros.

Business Savvy and Contract Negotiation

That marketing savvy was put to the test immediately after Clark declared she was going into the WNBA. Her deal with Nike expired at the end of the 2023-2024 college season, and a bidding war ensued.

After entertaining offers from brands such as Adidas, Under Armour and Puma, Clark ultimately decided to re-sign with Nike.

In April, it was reported that Clark nabbed a $28 million deal with Nike that would last eight years. Clearly her hard work in marketing classes had paid dividends.

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