Caitlin Clark can cross another item off her bucket list. On April 15, the college basketball superstar, 22, was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever.

“This is a dream. This is something I wrote down on a piece of paper when I was in, like, second grade,” she said. “Get a basketball scholarship. Play in the WNBA. This is something I’ve always wanted to do.” Millions tuned in to watch Iowa take on South Carolina in the NCAA women’s basketball championship game because of Caitlin, and although the Hawkeyes lost, she scored herself a spot in college basketball history as the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer. Her story — its ups and downs — has inspired future generations, too.

“I think, you know, understanding how big of an impact that can have on a young girl’s life is super important,” says Caitlin. “So, I always try to make as much time as I can for them. And just to see them scream your name or have your jersey on — that’s something that never gets old.”

Not anytime soon, at least. Fanatics has already sold out of Caitlin’s Indiana Fever jersey, and the team saw an uptick in season-ticket sales. “I’m just very lucky to be in this moment,” she said. “All these opportunities and these things, they’re once in a lifetime.”

While Caitlin is living out her dream in the WNBA, her starting salary has stirred up a debate among basketball fans. Today host Hoda Kotb, for example, was outraged on April 16 after learning that the women’s basketball star had reportedly signed a four-year contract with the Indiana Fever for $338,000, which broke down to just $76,535 for her first year. In comparison, 2023 NBA draft top pick Victor Wembanyama reportedly had a $55 million deal.

“For somebody who is now the face of women’s basketball, it seemed kind of ridiculous,” Hoda, 59, said. “There’s just something about this that’s so disturbing. I mean, I picture all the little girls with signs that say, ‘Caitlin!’ But this is what her contract is worth?”

Inside Caitlin Clark’s Amazing Journey to Basketball Superstar
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Meanwhile, others think Caitlin’s salary is reasonable. New York Liberty player Breanna Stewart’s opinion is somewhere in the middle. “I think that the changes have been happening. The WNBA has been around for 28 years, which is really small compared to any other league in professional sport,” she told People on Wednesday, April 23, later adding, “You can talk about opportunities for pensions and charters and all these things, but it’s not something that’s going to change overnight, and it’s the mix between us continuing to be great on the court and taking advantage of the things happening off the court.”

After the outcry over her salary, Calitltn reportedly landed a $28 million deal with Nike spanning eight years and including a signature shoe, sources told The Wall Street Journal. This also came after Caitlin made history as the first athlete that Prada dressed for an NBA or WNBA Draft. She walked the red carpet on her big night wearing more than $15,000 worth of merchandise from the designer. “It’s pretty special,” she said in a video on Prada’s Instagram Stories.