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Diana Taurasi believes Caitlin Clark will encounter adversity in transition to WNBA

© Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

Taking the nation by storm in her college journey with Iowa, Caitlin Clark is ready for the next chapter of her basketball career as she is destined to turn pro and head to the WNBA.

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Projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, Clark concluded her storied career as a Hawkeye on Sunday as they lost to South Carolina in the national championship, 87-75. She scored 30 points and had eight assists in the defeat.

This past season, the two-time Naismith College Player of the Year averaged 31.6 points, 8.9 assists and 7.4 rebounds in 39 games.

Gaining national notoriety along the way, the 22-year-old has gained support from athletes who play various sports and from the public.

Of those who voice her thoughts on Clark, Phoenix Mercury legend Diana Taurasi gave her opinions on the next big name in women’s basketball.

Adversity Awaits

On the ESPN show Sportscenter with Scott Van Pelt, Van Pelt asked Taurasi about how she believes Caitlin Clark and other WNBA prospects will transition to the pro level.

“Reality is coming, there’s levels to this thing,” Taurasi said. “That’s just life, we’ve all been through it. You’ve seen it on the NBA side and you are going to see it on this side where you look superhuman playing against 18-year-olds, but you are gonna come in with some girls who have been playing professional basketball for a long time. Not saying it is not going to translate because when you are great at what you do, you are just going to get better. But there is going to be a transition period where you will have to give yourself some graces as a rookie. It might take longer for some people.”

Before Clark even plays her first game in the WNBA, Taurasi is entering her 20th season. Regarded as one of the best to ever play in the league, Taurasi was the 2009 WNBA MVP, is a three-time WNBA champion, a 10-time All-Star and first-team All-WNBA selection.

As a member of UConn, Taurasi helped the Huskies win the 2002 national championship on March 31, just a little over two months after Clark was born (Jan. 22, 2002).

With the first-overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft on April 15, the Indiana Fever will have the chance to select the Iowa phenom.

If Clark ends up going to the Fever, she will face Taurasi and the Mercury on June 30 at noon in Phoenix.

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Reporter Alec Cipollini covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @AlecCipollini

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