The Player Who Shut Down Caitlin Clark

The Player Who Shut Down Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark‘s Antics Backfire

Caitlin Clark is known for her on-the-court trash talking — but there was one player who got the better of her during a recent game. Here’s how the University of Iowa star’s antics came back to haunt her.

Raven Johnson Shines

The University of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark may be one of the greatest players in the history of college basketball, but she was recently outshined by the University of South Carolina’s Raven Johnson. It all started during a 2023 matchup between the two schools, when Caitlin Clark casually dismissed Johnson’s shooting ability with a wave. The clip of the moment even went viral.

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Redemption at the Championship Game

However, Johnson was able to redeem herself when Iowa and North Carolina faced off for the women’s NCAA championship game on April 7, 2024. The No.1 seeded South Carolina went on to beat Iowa 87 to 75, thus taking home the national championship trophy. However, the highlight of the game for many was Johnson’s incessant guarding of Caitlin Clark, which contributed to her team’s victory.

Johnson’s Strategy Revealed

During a post-game press conference, Johnson revealed that she was thinking while guarding Caitlin Clark. She said: “Don’t let her score. I was ready for the moment … I studied her moves, and I was ready. I had this confidence year. I was telling myself, last year’s not going to happen again.”

Obsession with the Clip

Ahead of Johnson’s rematch against Caitlin Clark, the college star revealed that she became obsessed with the viral clip and couldn’t stop watching it. She told the Greenville News, “I remember watching that game over and over and over to the point where people were like, ‘Can you stop watching that game?’ I was like, ‘I can’t.'”

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Impact on Johnson

Caitlin Clark‘s diss almost made Johnson consider giving up basketball altogether. She added, “Caitlin’s competitive, so I don’t blame her for what she did, but it did hurt me. It definitely hurt me bad to the point that I wanted to quit basketball. I just feel like it helped me … I feel like if I can handle that, I can handle anything in life.”

Coach’s Applause

Johnson’s coach, Dawn Staley, applauded Johnson for overcoming her embarrassment and working on her game. Staley told the Greenville News, “Raven is going to be a great player because she was able to break through that moment and catapult her into that next level now.”

Recognition from Peers

Johnson’s unexpected comeback has earned just as much attention as her temporary setback. For example, former NBA pro Mark Jackson recently spoke about Johnson’s feat. He told SportsKeeda, “She waited for this opportunity and she worked on her game, worked on her weaknesses to make it her strength. She put on an absolute clinic yesterday in how to defend an all-time great basketball player.”

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Caitlin Clark’s Acknowledgement

Johnson also earned compliments from Caitlin Clark herself. During a press conference, Caitlin Clark spoke highly of Johnson’s abilities, saying, “I think Raven’s had a tremendous year, not only as a shooter but as the point guard. I really admire everything she’s done this year. That just speaks to her work ethic. She got in the gym and got better. I think that’s what makes great players great and that’s exactly what she did.”

Caitlin Clark’s Farewell Statement

Furthermore, Caitlin Clark addressed the end of her college career in a heartfelt statement on X. She wrote in the post, “Words cannot express my love for my teammates, coaches, fans and our university. Thanks for making my dreams come true. Wearing Iowa across my chest the last four years has been an honor.”

Looking Ahead

And despite finishing up her college career with a big loss, Caitlin Clark still has big plans ahead of her. College basketball’s all-time leading scorer is currently preparing for the WNBA draft. While speaking with “SportsCenter,” Caitlin Clark revealed what she’s most looking forward to about becoming a pro. She said, “I think being ready to learn, I think that’s the biggest thing. I know there’s a new challenge in front of me. It’s a fresh chapter in life, but that’s what excites me the most. It’s obviously a lot different going into college, but I think that’s the biggest thing, just the challenge as a competitor.”

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