Caitlin Clark Andraya Carter WNBA Draft Screen grab: ESPN

By this point, Caitlin Clark is used to being the center of attention.

So while it might have been awkward for other WNBA Draft prospects to listen to analysts lavish praise on them in front of their peers and fans — not to mention the national audience watching at home — it was no sweat for the former Iowa superstar.

Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that as ESPN’s breakdown of Clark blared over the loudspeakers at the Brooklyn Academy of Music during the draft on Monday night, the two-time National Player of the Year appeared unbothered. ESPN’s Andraya Carter, meanwhile, opted to acknowledge the obvious, making note during her analysis that she knew Clark was listening.

“She has the vision to find her teammates. Defending in constant contradiction with yourself when you’re guarding Caitlin Clark. She also has to sit there like she can’t hear us talking about her,” Carter said, which resulted in the 22-year-old cracking a smile. “Which she is handling wonderfully. Caitlin, proud of you on all fronts. But proud of you for handling this. Truly though, she’s really special.”

While other broadcasters likely would have pushed forward with the usual song and dance of publicly discussing a prospect you know can hear you, Carter’s decision to break the fourth wall brought a sense of transparency and levity to the segment. After all, this is the WNBA Draft, not a congressional hearing. Why not have some fun on a night that’s supposed to be a celebration, especially with a prospect you know is used to unprecedented fame?

As women’s sports has been pushed into the spotlight — thanks in large part to Clark’s stardom — Carter has emerged as one of ESPN’s rising stars. Monday’s draft showed exactly why as she managed to not only provide top tier analysis, but also make it relatable to the viewers at home (and in attendance).

[Awful Announcing on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.