WNCAAB: Iowa G Caitlin Clark wins Naismith Trophy


Iowa star Caitlin Clark was named the winner of the Naismith Trophy as the national women’s player of the year on Wednesday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Clark, a junior guard, beat out South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, the 2022 winner, as well as Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley and Villanova’s Maddy Siegirst.

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Clark is averaging 27.3 points, 8.6 assists and 7.3 rebounds entering Iowa’s Final Four clash with South Carolina on Friday. She also has 127 3-pointers and 56 steals.

“Winning the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy is such a huge honor for my family and our program,” Clark said in a statement. “None of this would be possible without my tremendous support system. I want to also thank (coach) Lisa Bluder for giving me the opportunity to play at Iowa and really thrive during my time here.”

Boston, who swept the national player of the year honors last season, did become the first player to repeat as the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. She is averaging 13.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots for the top-ranked Gamecocks.

“I’m very thankful to God for winning the 2023 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award, it’s such a blessing,” Boston said in a statement. “I’m also incredibly grateful for my teammates and my coaches. They were the ones that put me in a position to win this award and I’m very appreciative of all that they do.”

Boston’s coach, Dawn Staley, was named Naismith Coach of the Year for the second straight time and third in the past four years. South Carolina is 36-0 entering the game against Iowa.

“Being named Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year is an honor for our whole coaching staff,” Staley said in a statement. “The hours they put in to help our team don’t go unnoticed, and we couldn’t be in this position without their continued commitment to our program. I also want to thank our team, who makes our jobs a little easier by their commitment to the hard work and sacrifice it takes for us to be in the position of being undefeated and in the Final Four.”

Kitley is averaging 18.2 points and 10.7 rebounds while leading Virginia Tech to the Final Four. Siegrist scored 1,081 points this season, second most by a Division I women’s player behind Washington’s Kelsey Plum (1,109 in 2016-17).

–Field Level Media

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