Caitlin Clark, the all-time leading scorer in college basketball history, was selected first in the 2024 WNBA draft on Monday night. The Indiana Fever made it official, taking the 22-year-old Iowa Hawkeyes shooting guard with the first pick at the sold-out event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

"I can't imagine a more perfect fit, a better place for me to start my professional career, an organisation that really just believes in women's basketball and wants to do it the right way," Clark later said at the post-draft press conference.

The Fever hasn't made the playoffs since 2012 and had the second-lowest attendance in the league in 2023, but that's all set to change with Clark on board. The NCAA star has played in six of the 10 most-watched women's college basketball games this season. 

This month's title game against South Carolina alone drew an average audience of 18.7 million viewers. That made it the most-watched women's basketball game in history, and the most-watched basketball game of any kind since 2019.

Prior to the draft, the WNBA had already scheduled 36 of the Fever's 40 games for national television next season, and the Fever had begun selling a limited number of single-game tickets, betting that the basketball-crazy Midwestern state of Indiana would be prime territory for "Clark Mania".

Tickets for games against Connecticut and Los Angeles sold out within hours of going on sale. Everyone wants to see the two-time national player of the year, who eclipsed Pete Maravich's 54-year-old all-time scoring record in college basketball. 

Part of a 2024 draft class loaded with talent, Clark averaged 31.6 points this season as she led Iowa to its second straight NCAA championship game on 46.9% shooting, including nearly 40% from three-point range. She finished her college basketball career with 3,951 points and a record 548 three-pointers. "The WNBA is so competitive right now, so you better bring it every night - and I think that's exactly what I'm going to do," Clark said.

The Los Angeles Sparks took Stanford forward Cameron Brink with the second pick, and the Chicago Sky selected South Carolina centre Kamilla Cardoso with the third overall pick. 

Cardoso was one of the cornerstones of South Carolina's undefeated season, which culminated in wins over Clark and Iowa for the title. She will be joined in Chicago by Angel Reese, the forward who led Louisiana State University to victory over Iowa in the 2023 women's final.