Clark pleased after first WNBA training camp practice session

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Caitlin Clark;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Caitlin Clark</a> said she was happy after her first day of training camp with the WNBA's <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Indiana Fever;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Indiana Fever</a>, who earlier this month made her the top pick in the WNBA Draft (ANDY LYONS)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark, the top pick of the WNBA Draft after a record-shattering college career, said she was pleased Sunday after her first WNBA training camp practice session.

"It was a good first day," Clark said on Sunday. "It was hard. But that's what you expect from these practices. Just fun to get out there with all the girls."

The 22-year-old American phenomenon, who set a US college scoring record for men or women, is a 3-point sharpshooter who received global acclaim as she led the University of Iowa into the past two US college finals, the Hawkeyes falling short of the crown each time.

Clark, taken first in the WNBA Draft on April 15, said during the season she was leaving for the WNBA ranks and her devoted fan base is expected to boost ratings and attendance for the US women's league when the 2024 season starts next month.

"It's a new chapter and that's what I was ready for," Clark said. "I got a few workouts under my belt (before Sunday). That definitely helps so I'm not coming into training camp completely blind."

The Fever haven't reached the WNBA playoffs since 2016, haven't won a playoff series or had a winning season since 2015 and won their only championship in 2012.

"Our goal is the playoffs," Fever coach Christie Sides said.

Clark says she is excited for the pressure of the WNBA, which begins with a pre-season contest Friday at Dallas.

"It's definitely different but that's what you expect when you start a new chapter of your life," Clark said.

"This coaching staff is fully prepared. They've been watching me for quite some time and the stuff they have planned and the actions we're going to run are going to be really good for myself, really good for this group in general. A lot of screening action.

"It's fast, a fast shot clock, but it fits my game well."

Getting back on court for the two-hour team workout session enabled Clark to set aside a whirlwind past few weeks as her popularity exploded during a college post-season run last month.

"I think that’s what I was most excited for –- get all that other stuff out of the way," Clark said. "There really hasn't been a down period for me to catch my breath.

"I feel like I'm in really good basketball shape. There's no getting back in shape for myself. I've been playing basketball. There has not really been an off period. For me, I feel like that's a really good thing. You just keep the momentum rolling and keep being myself and keep learning."