Holly Rowe interviews Caitlin Clark after the Iowa Hawkeyes star became all-time scoring leader . Credit: ESPN

Having already dethroned Lynette Woodard’s AIAW record of 3,649 points set from 1978-1981, Caitlin Clark stands on the cusp of history. Just 18 points separate her from surpassing the legendary Pete Maravich’s record of 3,667 career points and claiming the ultimate NCAA title.

And on Sunday, March 3, Clark and the Hawkeyes return to the national spotlight for the final regular season game of her collegiate career, having already declared for the 2024 WNBA Draft this past week. Adding to the Grandeur, ESPN’s College GameDay will be in Iowa City to set the stage for this historic matchup against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Adding to the excitement, ESPN’s veteran college basketball reporter, Holly Rowe, will be part of ESPN’s coverage. On Friday, she appeared on The Dan Patrick Show, where the legendary host discussed her experience covering Clark – now the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball.

“It’s actually been very wild,” she said, “because I’ve been covering women’s college basketball for 30 years; I have seen a lot. I have seen the height of UConn’s greatness. I’ve seen Maya Moore, Candace Parker, and some of the hype around some of these big athletes, and I just have never seen anything like this. I was in Nebraska the day she had the chance to break the first Division 1 record. I was in Minnesota — the night before last — and it was absolute chaos and adoration. There’s thousands of No. 22 jerseys, little girls screaming, ‘Caitlin, Caitlin.’

“It’s just really — it’s precious. It’s amazing. And I think of the legacy that she’s leaving. All these little girls will remember this for the rest of their lives; they’ll love basketball for the rest of their lives. And I’ve run into people — like one dad who brought his daughter from Canada — who flew in from Alberta to watch Caitlin Clark play. Another mother of three that drove 1,000 miles from Arkansas to Nebraska to see Caitlin Clark play. So, it’s been really wild.”

Dan Patrick likened the buzz surrounding Clark to the enthusiasm generated by major boy bands like One Direction or NSYNC.

“Taylor Swift, c’mon,” said Rowe. “It’s Taylor Swift at its finest. Boy bands? Taylor Swift’s the hottest person in fandom.”

And even with being the Taylor Swift of women’s sports and despite being one of the most extensively covered players in recent memory, Clark has managed to stay true to herself. Rowe noted that despite the mounting excitement and hype surrounding her, Clark has remained remarkably consistent and has yet to stray from her core qualities.

“No. 1, she’s had to get an agency,” Rowe said. “She was doing this, and her family was kind of doing it on their own until midway through this season. And the crush just got too big, and the sponsorship opportunities got too big. She’s now signed with some of the biggest brands we have in America: Nike, Gatorade and StateFarm. And so, she’s getting help from an agency, and it’s really interesting how they naviagte. I can put in requests with their sports information people, but then they have to go through the agency to get to her. It’s a lot.

“But as a person, the only thing she’s changed is that she’s gotten better on the basketball court. She’s handling this so well. I’ve asked her, ‘You know, do you feel pressure? Is this overwhelming?’ because I feel overwhelmed at these games with all these crush of people, and she said, ‘No, I’m just enjoying every second.’ And she is comfortable on the court. She is embracing all of this madness and loving it.”

Rowe, a leading voice in chronicling Caitlin Clark’s historic journey, believes this is just the beginning. She sees Clark’s influence continuing in the WNBA with the Indiana Fever, further inspiring young fans and propelling women’s basketball forward. This aligns with the wider sentiment, despite some claims to the contrary, that Clark’s star power and marketability will only further on the professional stage.

[The Dan Patrick Show on Twitter/X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.