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Girls basketball coach: ‘Caitlin Clark effect’ more than what happens on court

Caitlin Clark’s impact on young basketball players

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s called “the  Caitlin Clark effect,” with record-breaking viewership of women’s college basketball and a spike in Indiana Fever ticket sales even before the WNBA draft.

But behind the limelight, young girls, particularly young female basketball players, were closely watching Clark.

Ron “China” Jackson is a coach for Lady Aces, a travel basketball team in Indy for students in grades 6-12. He said, “This is Indiana so we know great basketball — Reggie Miller, Tamika Catchings — and we know what she (Clark) can do on the court. Clark’s influence is more than just what she brings on the court.

“They’re used to the culture of game already. If they play basketball, they’ve grown up in the culture, but to see how someone balances the fanfare of playing basketball and all the attention with real life off the court is the most important.”

Jackson, who has coached for 18 years, says Clark’s success has some of his players seriously looking into playing high school and even college basketball because of how lucrative and lifechanging it could be. 

He says his young players are excited. “Everyone wants to be a shooter and show how much they can shoot. They are excited about the offensive end of the game she brings.” 

The young players hope to follow in her footsteps

Clark, too, had big dreams. She says when she was younger that she said wrote a note to herself about getting a basketball scholarship and playing in the WNBA.