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Caitlin Clark addresses offer to play in Big3 ahead of Iowa’s Sweet 16 clash with Colorado

Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports/Reuters

Iowa Hawkeyes superstar Caitlin Clark was asked Friday about a much-publicized offer to join the Big3, a 3-on-3 professional basketball league founded by Ice Cube, featuring several former NBA players.

She spoke to the media ahead of her team’s Sweet 16 Saturday matchup with Colorado in Albany, New York.

“To be honest, I found out about the Big3 thing at the exact time you all did, and my main focus is on just playing basketball,” Clark said of the multimillion-dollar offer. “I honestly don’t talk about those things with really anybody. I have other people that deal with it, and they haven’t said a word to me about it. My main focus is on this team and helping us find a way to beat Colorado and hopefully win another one after that.”

The Big3’s offer, worth a reported $5 million for a single season, would still allow the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer to play in the WNBA, where she’s projected to be the first pick in April’s draft.

“We intended the offer to remain private while Caitlin Clark plays for the championship,” Ice Cube said in a statement provided to CNN on Wednesday. “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. … With our offer, Caitlin Clark can make history and break down even more barriers for women athletes.”

The Big3 is not Clark’s only basketball offer beyond her college career.

The 22-year-old Iowa native was also invited to take part in USA Basketball’s Olympic training camp next week in Cleveland. But Clark and her coach Lisa Bluder are hopeful the reigning national player of the year will have other business at hand in Cleveland, which is also hosting the women’s Final Four.

“She did tell me about the invitation that she was getting for USA Basketball, but she hopes that she’s not there,” Bluder said. “We all hope she’s not there next weekend.”

Clark seemed humbled by the prospect of playing for Team USA, but she stressed her top priority right now is on winning a national championship with Iowa.

“USA Basketball is my – that’s your dream. You always want to grow up and be on the Olympic team, but lucky for me, I have the opportunity of possibly not doing that because I want to be at the Final Four playing basketball with my team,” Clark said. “But if not, that’s where I’ll be.

“People that are on that roster are people that I idolize and have idolized growing up. Just to be extended a camp invite is something you have to be proud of and celebrate and enjoy. But more than anything, my focus is on winning these two games, and that’s exactly how it should be.”

The top-seeded Hawkeyes will face the Colorado Buffaloes at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday for a chance to advance to the Elite Eight.

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