Former Iowa women's basketball star Caitlin Clark is headed to the WNBA, and will likely be selected with the No. 1 overall pick by the Indiana Fever in the draft on Monday. Ahead of the draft, Caitlin Clark made a statement thanking the women's basketball pioneers that came before her.

“Thanks to all the great players like Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper, the great Dawn Staley and my basketball hero Maya Moore,” Clark said on Saturday Night Live, according to ESPN. “These are the women that kicked down the door so I could walk inside. So I want to thank them for laying the foundation.”

Sheryl Swoopes is one of the most iconic players, a three-time MVP in the WNBA and a four-time champion, playing 12 seasons in the league. She played 10 years with the Houston Comets, then one year each with the Seattle Storm and Tulsa Shock. She played two years at Texas Tech.

Lisa Leslie played 12 years in the WNBA, all of them with the Los Angeles Sparks. She is a three-time MVP as well and a two-time NBA champion. She also played at USC for four seasons in college.

Dawn Staley is obviously known now for her work as the head coach for South Carolina, winning three national championships. However, she played eight seasons in the WNBA and was an all-star five times. She played four years at the Virginia basketball program.

Lastly, Clark's hero Maya Moore is one of the more decorated women's basketball players in history. She is one of the best players to play for Geno Auriemma at UConn, and won two national championships, among other awards. In the WNBA, she played eight seasons with the Minnesota Lynx, winning the MVP in 2014, along with four WNBA championships in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Caitlin Clark's college career and WNBA outlook

Despite not winning a national championship with the Iowa women's basketball program, Clark is unarguably one of the greatest women's college basketball players of all time. She showed off limitless range with her three-point shot in her career, and won national player of the year awards in her junior and senior years.

Clark brought Iowa to the national championship game in back-to-back seasons. In 2023, Iowa upset No. 1 overall seed South Carolina in the semifinal game, then lost to LSU in the championship game. Then this March Madness, Iowa narrowly beat UConn in the semifinal, but lost the title game to South Carolina.

With the Fever holding the No. 1 pick, they are primed to pick Clark and pair her with last year's No. 1 pick, Aliyah Boston, to try to build a foundation for a future championship team. They will be one of the young teams to watch this summer in the WNBA season.