Will Caitlin Clark accept Ice Cube's $5-million offer to become BIG3's first woman player?

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark pumps both fist in the second half of a second-round college basketball game
Iowa's Caitlin Clark reacts at an NCAA tournament game against West Virginia on Monday. The guard has received a $5-million offer to become the first woman to play in the BIG3 basketball league, founder Ice Cube confirmed Wednesday. (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Caitlin Clark's women's college basketball career isn't over yet, but the Iowa star has already received a lucrative offer to play for a professional league.

And it's not the WNBA.

Ice Cube confirmed Wednesday on social media that his BIG3 three-on-three men's basketball league offered Clark $5 million to become its first female player. The rapper, who founded the league with business partner Jeff Kwatinetz, did so in an X (formerly Twitter) thread that started with a repost of a TMZ tweet.

"We intended the offer to remain private while Caitlin Clark plays for the championship," Ice Cube wrote, referencing the Hawkeyes' NCAA tournament run that continues Saturday with a Sweet 16 matchup with Colorado. "But I won’t deny what’s now already out there: BIG3 made a historic offer to Caitlin Clark. Why wouldn’t we? Caitlin is a generational athlete who can achieve tremendous success in the BIG3."

Clark, the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I basketball, has declared for this year's WNBA draft and is expected to be selected No. 1 overall by the Indiana Fever.

It remains to be seen whether the 6-foot guard is willing or even able to play for BIG3. That league runs from June through August, so there is plenty of potential for conflict with the WNBA, which starts in May and ends in September.

Read more: How Caitlin Clark re-created iconic Kobe Bryant photo with trophy in shower stall

The WNBA, its players' association and representatives for Clark did not reply to requests for comment from The Times.

The highest paid player in the WNBA is currently Jackie Young of the Las Vegas Aces, who signed a two-year deal averaging $252,450 a season. Assuming she is drafted by the Fever with the No. 1 pick, Clark would be eligible for a four-year, $338,056 contract.

Clark already makes nearly $1 million a year in endorsements and will no doubt increase that amount as a pro player. But the amount offered by BIG3 might be tough to turn down, especially because it might allow her to avoid following the large number of WNBA players who sign with overseas teams to supplement their incomes during the offseason.

"America’s women athletes should not be forced to spend their offseasons playing in often dismal and dubious foreign countries just to make ends meet," Ice Cube wrote Wednesday on X.

"And they should have more than just one professional option in the U.S. at a time when American pro sports leagues are being infiltrated by autocratic, anti-women regimes such as Qatar.," Ice Cube added in a separate tweet. "Our pathbreaking offer to Caitlin Clark demonstrates that BIG3 now offers another choice for athletes."

Read more: Ice Cube reflects on the 25 years since the release of 'Death Certificate'

Heading into its seventh season, the BIG3 features a dozen teams with rosters made up of former NBA players and international players. Two of the teams are coached by women. Former WNBA player and coach and NBA assistant coach Nancy Lieberman led the Power to the 2018 championship in her first season, and head coach. Lisa Leslie, a Basketball Hall of Famer and two-time WNBA champion with the Sparks, led the Triplets to the BIG3 crown the following season.

"The skeptics laughed when we made Nancy Lieberman the first female coach of a men’s pro team, and she won the championship in her first year. Then Lisa Leslie won it all in year two," Ice Cube tweeted. "With our offer, Caitlin Clark can make history and break down even more barriers for women athletes."

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.