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Here’s how Caitlin Clark is feeling before her WNBA debut

Here’s how Caitlin Clark is feeling before her WNBA debut

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (WISH) — Caitlin Clark’s long-awaited WNBA debut is finally here. The all-time NCAA Division I scoring leader and the Indiana Fever will take on the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night in the regular season opener for both squads.

Clark has played in plenty of big-time college games. The 2024 national championship game between her Iowa Hawkeyes and South Carolina drew over 18 million viewers and set the record for the most-watched women’s basketball game of all time.

Even though this is her first regular-season professional game, her nerves are still well-managed.

“I slept really good honestly,” Clark said. “I don’t feel nervous or really anxious. I’m just excited more than anything, and just embracing it. Obviously, Connecticut’s really good in everything that they do. I get to step on the court with a lot of really great players tonight, so, I think just rely on the people around me and be myself. I know this team needs stuff from me so just go out there and perform and have a lot of fun.”

Even though Clark was already one of, if not the most popular player in the WNBA before she started her career, she is keeping herself grounded and managing her expectations.

“Not everything’s going to be perfect,” Clark said. “I know the outside world thinks I’m going to do some amazing things but that might take some time. If things aren’t perfect right away or one game’s not as perfect as I want it to be, I feel like, give yourself grace, continue to learn, continue to get better from it and I think that’s just the biggest thing.”

Clark brings her superstar-level following with her to the Fever. 36 of the 40 Fever regular season games will be played on national television. As for the Fever, they are embracing the heightened attention.

“I mean, the fans, the support, the media, everything is just at a different level,” Fever head coach Christie Sides said. “It’s a good vibe, and like I said, I’m glad we had those two exhibition games to get them ready for tonight.”

“This is what you want,” Fever forward-center Aliyah Boston said. “The league is continuing to grow. There’s so much eyes and energy around it, it honestly makes you so excited to get out on that court and play.”

The Fever’s opening matchup against the Sun will be a tough one. The Sun had the third-best record in the WNBA last season and made it to the semifinals in the playoffs. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

WISH-TV is the only Indianapolis station on the road in Connecticut for the regular season opener.

The Fever will be back in Indy for their home opener on Thursday against the New York Liberty at 7 p.m.