Caitlin Clark reacts to initial taste of WNBA in Fever’s first practice: ‘A lot faster’

Caitlin Clark’s welcome to the WNBA continued Sunday, with the Indiana Fever opening training camp. 

And the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer is already noticing how much different the pros are compared to college. 

“It’s definitely different, but that’s what you expect when you start a new chapter in your life,” Clark said. “It’s fast, fast shot clock, but I think all of you know that’s how I like to play. So, I think it suits my game pretty well. It’s a fast pace, a lot faster than college, and you’ve to learn quicker because you’ve got to get your mind on Friday.”


Caitlin Clark poses with Fever jersey

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever poses at Gainbridge Fieldhouse during her introductory press conference on April 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Matt Kryger/NBAE via Getty Images)

Friday will be Clark’s first game action, as the Fever take on the Dallas Wings in the first preseason contest of the new season. 

Clark’s speed, which was seen in abundance during her time playing for the Iowa Hawkeyes, and her other outstanding attributes on the court are something her teammates are already thinking about playing with. 

“I think Caitlin has a different eye for the game,” Aliyah Boston, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2023 WNBA Draft, said. “You’re able to see how well she passes the ball and how well she shoots it. You see her communicating, you see the way she can find you, I mean her passes are tremendous. I’m like ‘OK, I’ll get a touch, just let me get down there’ just because of how well she passes it.”


Getting acclimated to any league takes time for rookies, even those that are good, as Clark was, at the collegiate level. She fully expects to need to work through some things before feeling comfortable with her new team. 

But now that the fanfare of the Fever picking her is over and basketball is starting, she’s ready to make that learning curve as short as possible. 

Caitlin Clark dribbles

Friday will be Caitlin Clark’s first game action, as the Fever take on the Dallas Wings. (Matt Kryger/NBAE via Getty Images)

“I think that’s what I was most excited for, getting all that other stuff out of the way,” Clark said. “The draft was amazing, New York City was amazing, Los Angeles was amazing, but I was excited to get here and get back to playing basketball, you know, doing my job.”

All focus when Clark takes the court will be on her ability to shoot the ball from virtually anywhere, but head coach Christie Sides loves another part of her game that strikes fear into opponents. 

“Her ability to space the floor for us is just incredible,” Sides explained after running practice, where Clark was running with the starters. “We’re going to have five players on the court that can shoot it, but her passing ability – you saw some of the passes she made. I’m more mad at the how many missed layups we had. I think we’re just not used to having those, someone who can make those passes.”

It’s just one practice, but Clark is turning heads as expected. She’s among some of the best women in the world with a basketball in their hands, yet she’s surprising her teammates and coaches with how she’s playing. 

Caitlin Clark shoots free throw

Caitlin Clark knows fans and the media will be looking for wins when the Fever take the floor. (Matt Kryger/NBAE via Getty Images)

The true test, though, will come during games. With the spotlight only brighter at the pro level, Clark knows that people, both fans and the media, will be looking for wins when the Fever take the floor. 

That’s what she plays the game for anyway. 


“I think no matter what happens, there’s going to be expectations and pressure on my shoulders and pressure on this team to be really good. That’s how you want it,” Clark said. “We wouldn’t want anything else. We want people showing up to our games, people expecting us to win a lot of basketball games this year, and I’m expecting myself to play really well. I don’t think it’s anything that’s ever been different for me.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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