College basketball's all-time leading scorer missed out on the crown as Iowa lost to South Carolina in the final, but she already has her sights set on the elite. She is projected to be the number one pick in the WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever and could be part of Team USA for Paris 2024.

Caitlin Clark's achievements this season include surpassing Pete Maravich's 54-year-old all-time college basketball scoring record. A feat many thought was unattainable. She's almost certain to be selected with the first pick in the WNBA draft later this month by the Indiana Fever, and could also make the US team for the Paris Olympics, according to AFP.

Before making the leap to the elite, however, Clark couldn't win the crown. Her Iowa team lost 87-75 to South Carolina in the final in Cleveland this weekend, but the 22-year-old Iowa phenomenon was keen to focus on the positives after her record-breaking performances this year helped the Hawkeyes break attendance and TV ratings records and attract worldwide media attention.

"When I think about the future of women's basketball, it's obviously going to continue to grow, whether it's college or the WNBA," Clark said of her legacy. "Everybody sees the ratings. When you have the opportunity, women's sports thrive and that's been the most interesting part of this journey for me.

Caitlin Clark scored 30 points in the college final. GETTY IMAGES
Caitlin Clark scored 30 points in the college final. GETTY IMAGES

"We started the season playing in front of 55,000 people. Now we finish in front of 15 million on TV. It just keeps getting better and better. It's never going to stop," she added. 

As she said goodbye to college basketball, Clark expressed hope that Iowa's success would encourage leagues and media companies to invest in women's sports. "No matter what sport it is, if you have the same kind of belief in it, the same kind of investment in it, things will flourish," she said.

Clark credits Iowa with introducing new generations of fans to the sport, something she will always cherish. She has helped college basketball take a leap forward in quality and grow every season. "People will remember the moments they shared at one of our games or watched on television when their daughter or son got excited about women's basketball," Clark said.

Clark led the scoring in Sunday's final with 30 points. She admitted she expected to shed a few tears. For her, it was both a farewell and a second consecutive loss in the national title game. "The emotions will probably hit me in the next few days. I don't have a lot of time to sit and dwell on it," said Clark.

Despite losing the final and wearing the Iowa jersey for the last time, Clark said she was proud of her teammates and the team. The young talent now has her sights set on the WNBA and, in the short term, the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, where she could be one of the leaders of the US team.