DALLAS — University of Iowa junior Caitlin Clark is the recipient of the 2023 Naismith Trophy, the most prestigious individual basketball honor presented annually to women’s college basketball’s most outstanding player. The announcement was made on Wednesday by Eric Oberman, Atlanta Tipoff Club executive director.
The most dominant player in women’s college basketball, Clark has already been recognized as the Big Ten Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, as well as The Athletic National Player of the Year. A unanimous first team Associated Press and All-Big Ten honoree, Clark also excels in the classroom, being voted the 2023 Academic All-American of the Year. Clark is also a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, Wade Trophy, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Dawn Staley and Nancy Lieberman awards.
Clark has captivated audiences with her style of play, posting unprecedented numbers of 984 points, 311 assists, 262 rebounds, 127 three-pointers, 56 steals and 20 blocks in leading the Hawkeyes to a historic season. She is the first Division I women’s basketball player to record more than 900 points and 300 assists in the same season. Her 984 points are the second most in a single season in Big Ten history (1,001 by Megan Gustafson in 2019).
“Winning this award is a huge accomplishment. This is such a huge honor for our family and program. None of this would be possible without my tremendous support system. I want to thank Lisa Bluder and her staff for giving me the opportunity to play basketball at the University of Iowa. It is a place I have thrived in since I stepped on campus."Caitlin Clark
The West Des Moines, Iowa, native has registered +25 points, +5 rebounds and +5 assists in 18 games this year (most in Division I) and 40 times in her career; most in NCAA women’s basketball history.
Clark leads the nation’s best offense averaging 27.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. She accounts for 57 percent of Iowa’s offensive output in points and assists.
She leads Division I in several statistical categories including assists per game (8.6), three-pointers made (127), and triple-doubles (5). She has scored 30 or more points in 12 games, including three 40-point performances. Clark broke Iowa’s junior single season records in scoring and assists. She also became the Big Ten single season statistical champion in assists (311).
In Iowa’s four NCAA Tournament games this March, Clark is averaging 30 points, 11 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 4.8 three-pointers and 2.5 steals.
In Iowa’s last outing against Louisville, Clark recorded her 11th career triple-double totaling 41 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. She became the first player in NCAA Tournament history to record a 40-point triple-double. The 41-point performance ties for the third most points scored in NCAA Tournament Regional Final history. Her 41 points and eight 3-pointers made are Iowa NCAA Tournament single game records.
Clark is one of three Hawkeye recipients of the Naismith Trophy since 2019, and the second women’s player. Megan Gustafson was the 2019 honoree, while Luka Garza was chosen in 2021. Iowa is one of just six institutions to have both a men’s and women’s Naismith Trophy honoree (Duke, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas and Virginia).
“The Naismith Trophy represents the pinnacle of achievement in college basketball, and it is a great honor to congratulate Caitlin,” said Oberman. “Her sheer dominance in today’s women’s college basketball game is undeniably awe-inspiring, and we are very proud to recognize her remarkable accomplishments this season.”
Clark was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading media members from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom based their selections on outstanding on-court performances during the 2022-23 college basketball season. Additionally, fans had the opportunity to cast a ballot. The Naismith fan vote accounted for five percent of the overall vote. The vote was tabulated and certified by Aprio, a premier, CPA-led business advisory firm, headquartered in Atlanta.
Clark and the second-ranked Iowa women’s basketball team (30-6) will face top-ranked South Carolina (36-0) on Friday in the national semifinals at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 8:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on ESPN and broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network.