Sides Comments On Clark Olympics Decision

Indiana Fever head coach Christie Sides recently expressed her disappointment over the exclusion of rookie sensation Caitlin Clark from the U.S. Olympic national women’s basketball team roster. In a candid conversation, Sides revealed how Clark reacted to the news and shared her thoughts on the young star's future prospects.

Clark was on the team bus when she received the call about her omission. Sides recounted receiving a text from Clark soon after. “A little disappointed, of course. She’s my player," Sides explained, via the Indy Star. "You know, that’s the hardest team in the world to make. That is a tough team. She’s young. She’s going to have so many opportunities in the future."

Despite the setback, Clark maintained a positive outlook. She texted Sides with a message that showcased her resilience: “Hey, coach. They woke a monster,” a sentiment that Sides found inspiring.

When asked about the potential for Clark to elevate her game further, Sides expressed confidence in her player's drive and determination.

"I don’t know, man. It’s pretty scary, right? She’s one of the most competitive people I know. She’s a worker and that’s what she’s gonna do. This just gave her another opportunity to get in the gym and do more work. And she’s also saying, ‘Coach, I just want to focus on our team,’ as well. That is really good to hear from her too."

Both Sides and Clark acknowledged a silver lining to the situation: the rest Clark will get between the Olympics and the regular season. This break could be beneficial for her physically and mentally, allowing her to recharge and refocus.

Clark, known for her sportsmanship, offered a gracious response to her exclusion from the team. "I’m excited for the girls who are on the team. I know it’s the most competitive team in the world and I know it could’ve gone either way – me being on the team, me not being on the team," she said, via The Athletic. "So, I’m excited for them. I’m going to be rooting them on to win gold. I was a kid that grew up watching the Olympics. So, yeah, it’ll be fun to watch them."

Reflecting on the experience, Clark viewed it as a motivator rather than a setback. "No disappointment. I think it just gives you something to work for. That’s a dream. Hopefully, one day I can be there. I think it’s just a little more motivation. You remember that. And hopefully in four years, when four years comes back around, I can be there."

Clark's mature and optimistic perspective underscores her potential to grow even stronger from this experience. As she continues to develop her game, the basketball world will be watching closely, anticipating the heights she will reach in her promising career.

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