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WNBA star Caitlin Clark doesn't make the USA Olympics basketball team

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark has confirmed she didn't make Team USA's Olympic roster for the Summer Games in Paris.  She's shown here during a game Thursday, May 30, 2024, in Indianapolis.
Doug McSchooler
/
AP
Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark has confirmed she didn't make Team USA's Olympic roster for the Summer Games in Paris. She's shown here during a game Thursday, May 30, 2024, in Indianapolis.

One of the biggest sports stars in the U.S. won’t be traveling to the summer Olympic Games in Paris.

Caitlin Clark, who plays for the WNBA's Indiana Fever, confirmed Sunday that she didn’t make the national team roster.

"I’m excited for the girls on the team. It’s the most competitive team in the world," Clark told reporters.

Clark said USA Basketball officials showed her respect by notifying her directly of their decision.

The WNBA rookie said she wasn't disappointed and would fight for a place on the squad at the next summer Olympics in 2028.

"I know it could have gone either way — me being on the team, me not being on the team," the Indiana guard said. "So, I’m excited for them, I’ll be rooting them on to win gold."

Some critics say the decision is a missed opportunity for USA Basketball to draw more fan attention to the Olympic sport.

Clark became a household name in this year's NCAA championships, selling out stadiums and earning an MVP title before she was picked first in the WNBA draft in April.

Speaking with reporters, Clark said that if a last-minute spot opens on the Olympic roster due to injury or some other reason, she would be interested in playing for the U.S.

"I think it would be a great opportunity," Clark said. "If USA Basketball needs something, I have a great relationship with them."

The opening ceremony for the Paris Games will take place on July 26.

While the official roster for the USA women's Olympic team hasn't been posted, the tentative line-up includes past Olympic gold medalists including Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart.

American women's teams have dominated Olympics basketball, winning gold at the last seven Summer Games.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Corrected: June 9, 2024 at 4:59 PM CDT
A previous version of this story incorrectly said Caitlin Clark plays for the Indiana Fury. She plays for the Indiana Fever.
Brian Mann
Brian Mann is NPR's first national addiction correspondent. He also covers breaking news in the U.S. and around the world.