Caitlin Clark’s High School Coach Says Caitlin Has Always Been Poised For Success

WHN | Mar 20, 2024

By Brandolyn Hellams Caitlin Clark’s name is being mentioned all across the world as one of this generation’s most exciting…

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By Brandolyn Hellams

Caitlin Clark’s name is being mentioned all across the world as one of this generation’s most exciting basketball stars. She’s broken the NCAA D1 scoring record, and her team is currently a number one seed in the tournament.

One person can remember when that same girl was just hoopin’ with a dream. 

Kristin Meyer is Clark’s former high school basketball coach, and current coach at Dowling Catholic High School. It wasn’t really a shock to Coach Meyer that Caitlin transitioned in college the way she has. Clark scored 60 points in high school, putting fans and players on notice. 

“I wasn’t surprised by the success that she’s had in college. I remember when she left for college and people asked me how do you think she’ll do? I said I bet she’ll average 20 to 25 points per game her freshman year.”

Coach Meyer wasn’t far off, but she was just a tad under the mark. Clark averaged 26.6ppg her freshman year. Now, Coach Meyer did admit that she could’ve never predicted Clark to become “this famous.” However, she does appreciate the notoriety that her former player is bringing to the women’s college game for herself and other players.

“Caitlin Clark is kind of the household name. But now people are tuning in to watch lots of different teams, and lots of different conferences.”

According to Forbes, The Women’s Final Four price is at $774 compared to a price of $242 for the Men’s Final Four. The Albany 2 Region, which features top programs including Iowa, is seeing a current Sweet Sixteen get-in ticket price starting at $225. More people are starting to watch the women’s game both in person and on air. Reports show the SEC title game between LSU-South Carolina, reached an average  1.96 million viewers on ESPN. 

“At Dowling, we’ve had some pretty big numbers in participation. I do think it’s the Caitlin Clark effect.”

Meyer mentioned that she has seen an increase in participation for women’s basketball over the years. Crediting the exposure that the league is seeing over the years to helping young girls decide to not only participate in basketball, but sports as a whole. 

Coach didn’t stop her support of Clark after she left her programming in high school. She says she’s made quite a few games during her time with the Hawkeyes. Admitting that it can get tough to be there in person, due to her having to coach her own team. However, she was there to witness both scoring record feats. 

“The night she broke Kelsey Plum’s record was actually my 40th birthday.”

Meyer says she’s probably only missed about 4 of Caitlin’s games since she’s been in college. Saying that if she doesn’t get to watch in person, she always makes sure to contribute to tv ratings. When she’s not cheering Clark on the court, she’s sending her text messages and keeping up with her via her cousin Audrey Faber, who is a former Dowling Catholic High School player,  and now an assistant coach. But more than that, she’s also Clark’s cousin. 

Coach says she keeps us with Clark a lot via Faber. Even mentioning that she may have gotten the drop on Clark’s decision to declare for the WNBA from Faber, just days before the announcement. Meyer says that Clark is a person who will sit and wait before making a tough decision, not big on discussing things until she’s sure. 

“I’m guessing it wasn’t too long before she made her announcement that she made her decision. To be honest it was two great decisions to choose from, staying in Iowa or going pro. I think either one she would’ve been pretty happy with.”

The NCAA Tournament has finally arrived, and Iowa being a no.1 seed this season had some people scratching their heads. The Hawkeyes had a solid season, sure, but they dropped a few games and lost some former players that have fans unsure if they’ll make it to the Final Four this time around. Teams are much more competitive this season, freshmen are backing down, and on even given night the best team can beat. So how does that make Coach Meyer feel about Caitlin Clark’s chances of getting back to the Final Four this season.

“I’m going to be honest going into the season I was unsure with how competitive they’d be after losing Monica and Mckenna, but i’ve been so impressed with how the coaches have led this program, with how Caitlin has stepped up even more as a leader… it’s really setting them up to be successful in the tournament.”

Clark is the heavy favorite to win National Player  of the year this season. It’ll be her second season in a row if she’s awarded. Coach Meyer says she is happy for Caitlin and deserves it for many reasons.

“I don’t think she’s ever set that as her top goal. But it comes when you set your teammates up and have team success.”

Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes play Saturday at 3:00 P.M. You can watch it live on ESPN.

Brandolyn Hellams is a journalist and producer in Atlanta, who covers sports and entertainment.

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