Even though Caitlin Clark, a former Iowa standout, is currently in the midst of her rookie WNBA season, her impact on college basketball is still felt. The impact of the NCAA’s all-time top scorer will be seen in the years to come as she elevated women’s basketball beyond the realm of sports and into popular culture.


Due in large part to the obstacles Clark broke down during her remarkable career, the next generation of women’s collegiate basketball standouts may achieve unprecedented levels of fame. One of those rising college talents is JuJu Watkins, a freshman at USC who finished her debut season with the Trojans with numerous Pac-12 and national accolades.

According to USC coach Lindsay Gottlieb, the Los Angeles-based star may have a new mentor in Clark, who provided Watkins with advise following the 2023–24 season and may serve as a resource for both her and the program.

According to Gottlieb, Clark told him, “I had this attention for a year and a half, two years.” This was reported by The Orange County Register.”You’re going to have it for the next three,” she said JuJu.


Prior to their game against the Los Angeles Sparks, Clark and the Indiana Fever practiced last week at USC’s Galen Center. It was during her visit that Clark reignited her relationship with Gottlieb and the Trojans program.

If she’s this willing, I’m definitely going to use that as a resource, Gottlieb stated. That seems like a really cool idea. Furthermore, I believe it’s incredibly admirable of her to be willing to “pay it forward” by helping someone else.”

Although Clark and Watkins did not play against each other last season, the former is said to have told Gottlieb that she wished the Trojans and Hawkeyes could play in the NCAA Tournament. Instead, USC focused on what would be an incredible 2024–25 season, and Clark led Iowa to its second consecutive trip to the national title game.

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Watkins is the focal point of a USC team that looks to challenge for a Final Four spot and beyond. As a true freshman, Watkins averaged an incredible 27.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game. That march to supremacy might be aided by mentoring from one of the greatest women’s collegiate basketball players in history.

Taking individuals like Watkins under her wing would only serve to further solidify Clark’s already impressive legacy in the sport and position as a trailblazer for women’s athletics. Even before making her professional debut, the top overall pick in this year’s WNBA Draft made a lasting impression on the league when ESPN revealed it will air 36 of the Fever’s 40 regular-season games for a national audience.