Candace Parker on Caitlin Clark Credit: King Charles on CNN

TNT Sports broadcaster and three-time WNBA champion Candace Parker knows what it’s like for Caitlin Clark right now.

In 2008, Parker was coming off back-to-back NCAA championships under Pat Summitt at Tennessee. She joined the Los Angeles Sparks as the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft before winning MVP as a rookie.

In an appearance on King Charles on CNN this week, Parker told the story of the advice she received from Diana Taurasi and what she expects as Iowa Hawkeyes sensation Caitlin Clark joins the WNBA this summer.

“Any time you’re able to have new eyeballs and a new fanbase … it’s going to be beneficial to not only just the Fever but to the entire WNBA,” Parker said. “My challenge to the WNBA is to continue to raise the bar, and know that with more stars comes more expectations. So I hope that we’re ready to continue to grow, and continue to build.”

Parker then explained how when she was riding high after her sensational rookie season, the legendary Diana Taurasi warned her of the comedown.

“She was like, ‘This is the heyday, and as time goes on, people forget,'” Parker said. “I hope that we take that as a challenge and say that no, we’re going to continue to raise the bar and make her more of a star.”

Clark has helped power NCAA women’s basketball to record ratings and captured the sports world’s attention for two straight springs. She enters the WNBA at an important moment for the league, coming off a record WNBA Finals with a potential rematch of two “super teams” in Las Vegas and New York looming this fall. The league will soon negotiate a new broadcast rights deal set to begin next year. Players can vote to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement later this year.

Parker will return to the Las Vegas Aces this year at age 38 for what could be her final season. She broadcasts the NBA and men’s college basketball for Warner Bros. Discovery but often uses her platform to discuss the women’s game and raise its profile too.

[CNN on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.