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Cavinder twins praise Caitlin Clark’s impact on women’s basketball: ‘A player you will only have once in your life’

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The conversation about Caitlin Clark’s impact on the WNBA and the growth of women’s basketball has been a hot topic since the former Iowa star was drafted by the Indiana Fever with the first overall pick last month.

For Haley and Hanna Cavinder, there is no debate.

Haley Cavinder and Hanna Cavinder of the Miami Hurricanes during the pregame of a Sweet 16 game during the 2023 NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena, March 24, 2023, in Greenville, SC (Jacob Kupferman/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

“She’s a once-in-a-lifetime player,” Haley said of Clark’s impact during an appearance at OutKick’s “Hot Mic” Tuesday. “What she has done for the game this past year has been insanely good for women’s basketball.

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‘She’s fun to watch. Everyone wants to watch her,” Haley continued, adding that the spikes in viewership and revenue are a good indication of where the game is going.

“I think she’s great, and that’s why people want to watch. And that’s what makes the game grow. Even going to the women’s NBA, I don’t think I’ve ever watched the women’s NBA again because Caitlin Clark is in that league. I think what she does for the game is great for women’s basketball.”

Some have questioned Clark’s rise in the WNBA. Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson recently suggested race played a major role in Clark’s popularity. Wilson’s coach, Becky Hammon, later begged the media to “stop it” regarding the race story, but later clarified when asked if her comments were “misinterpreted.”

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark smiles as she heads courtside after a 3-point basket in the final seconds of a game against the Los Angeles Sparks at Crypto.com Arena. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports)

WNBA COACH SAYS ‘GREATNESS’ OF BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ‘CELEBRATED’ AS MUCH AS THOSE WHO ARE WHITE

“It’s being interpreted as if some of our black and brown minority women hate her because she’s white, and that’s not the case. Let’s take Caitlin out of the picture. What I find disturbing… it’s not about Caitlin. Give her her flowers. She has done things that no man or woman, black or white, has ever done in college basketball. Give that woman her flowers,” Hammon said.

“But what it has done is it has highlighted how Black and brown greatness isn’t celebrated or appreciated as much. That’s what I was talking about.”

Clark’s professional debut was the most watched WNBA game since 2001. That came after she was the star of the four most-watched women’s NCAA games ever, three of which were Iowa’s final three games of the most recent March Madness tournament.

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Haley Cavinder (14) and Hanna Cavinder (15) of the Miami Hurricanes sit on the bench during the second half against the Villanova Wildcats in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena, March 24, 2023, in Greenville, S.C. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Before the Fever’s game Friday, Clark said she doesn’t pay attention to what’s on social media.

“This is my job. My job is to compete and play basketball every day. I think the more exposure we can get to every team in this league, that will only help me get better and better.”

The Cavinder twins, who played three seasons at Fresno State before spending the 2022-23 season with the Hurricanes, announced their decision in April to return to Miami to play their fifth and final year of play.

Ryan Morik of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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