Shaquille O'Neal had high praise for Iowa star Caitlin Clark, calling her "best female collegiate player ever." Photo Credit: Julia Hansen/Iowa City Press-Citizen/USA TODAY NETWORK Iowa’s Caitlin Clark (22) reacts as a video highlighting her career plays in honor of her breaking the NCAA all-time scoring record Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. Photo Credit: Julia Hansen/Iowa City Press-Citizen/USA TODAY NETWORK

Iowa star Caitlin Clark made history on Thursday night. In the opening minutes of a game against Michigan, Clark became the leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball history. It earned her high praise from one of basketball’s all-time greatest stars, Shaquille O’Neal.

Clark’s record-setting performance was a topic of conversation during Thursday’s episode of Inside the NBA. After his co-hosts joined the chorus of people congratulating Clark, Shaq did the same and did not hold back with his praise.

“I’m gonna go on the record and say she’s the best female collegiate player ever,” he said. Other names, specifically Cheryl Miller, Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker were thrown at O’Neal, but Shaq held his opinion. “I said what I said…I ain’t disrespecting nobody. It’s just my opinion.”

Beyond being the top scorer in the history of women’s NCAA basketball, Clark is on track to break the all-time record — men or women — presently held by the legendary Pistol Pete Maravich.

Truthfully, the best thing that Clark can do to bolster her case would be to lead the Hawkeyes to a national championship. Iowa reached the National Championship Game last year, falling to LSU. Getting over that obstacle would make her GOAT argument even stronger.

But regardless of whether that happens, Clark’s individual accolades, as well as how much she’s helped grow women’s basketball, will forever give her a place in the conversation.

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