Magic Johnson gives Caitlin Clark 'her flowers' in high-praise social media post


Caitlin Clark set, and broke, her own record three times in her final three college games.

Iowa’s 2023 championship rematch against LSU in the Elite Eight averaged over 12 million viewers and peaked at 16 million, then the most-watched women’s college basketball game on record.

Then, their Final Four matchup against UConn surpassed that, and their championship game against South Carolina blew right past it.

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Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Final Four game against the UConn Huskies at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on April 5, 2024, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Gamecocks’ win over the Hawkeyes drew in 18.7 million viewers to ABC’s coverage with a peak of 24 million viewers during the game, according to ESPN. The number is up 89% from last year and 285% from the 2022 national championship.

ESPN said the game was the most-watched sporting event outside of American football and the Olympics since 2019.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley thanked Clark for “lifting up our sport,” and the soon-to-be No. 1 WNBA Draft pick received further praise from basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

“Caitlin Clark’s extraordinary play this season has been the catalyst for growing women’s basketball, with record-breaking viewership throughout the tournament,” Johnson wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “She deserves her flowers and I want to congratulate her on an incredible collegiate career!” 

Caitlin Clark reacts to play

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes shouts during the LSU Tigers game in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at MVP Arena on April 1, 2024, in Albany, New York. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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Clark set numerous records this season, but perhaps none more prestigious than becoming the all-time leading scorer in both men’s and women’s basketball college, passing LSU’s Pete Maravich earlier this season. With her 30 points scored in the loss to the Gamecocks, Clark finished her career with 3,921 points, while averaging 31.7 points per game this season. 

Clark wasn’t able to hoist the NCAA title trophy in the end, though, despite the fantastic season the Hawkeyes had. They started off really well, going on a 10-0 run to begin the game, and Clark finished the first quarter with 18 points. 

However, she cooled off after that as South Carolina’s Raven Johnson played fantastic defense, holding her to 5-of-20 shooting. 

Caitlin Clark celebrates

Caitlin Clark reacts as confetti rains down during Iowa’s senior recognition after the Ohio State game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, on March 3. (Julia Hansen/USA Today Network)

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Still, the loss for Clark and the Hawkeyes doesn’t take away how successful a season it was and personally how great her career has been.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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