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Apr 24, 2024 12:40 am

Caitlin Clark becomes first 2-time Sullivan Award honoree

Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark, who broke the NCAA women’s basketball single-season and career scoring records in a stellar senior season at Iowa, established another record on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old Iowa native became the first-ever two-time winner of the AAU James E. Sullivan Award, which annually honors the nation’s best amateur athlete.

The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has been handing out the Sullivan Award since 1930, when golfer Bobby Jones was the first honoree.

Last year, Clark became the first women’s basketball player to be the sole recipient of the Sullivan Award since Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw was recognized in 1998. Since then, four other women’s basketball players shared the prize: Georgia’s Coco Miller and Kelly Miller in 1999, UConn’s Breanna Stewart (along with Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds) in 2015 and Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu (along with Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee) in 2019.

The other Sullivan Award finalists this year were U.S. Paralympic swimmer Noah Jaffe, Team USA gymnast Frederick Richard, Texas volleyball player Madisen Skinner, Olympic speed skater Emery Lehman and Olympic wrestler David Taylor.

Clark said of receiving the award again, “The AAU Sullivan Award is an incredible honor. I have been inspired by so many athletes that came before me and I hope I can be that same inspiration for the next generation to follow their dreams. I want to congratulate the other finalists and thank all of those who voted for me.”

Clark shattered the NCAA mark with 1,234 points and 201 3-pointers in the just-concluded season, leading Iowa to the national title game for the second year in a row. She also set national career records with 3,951 points and 548 treys.

She also drew record attendance for Hawkeyes games home and away, and her presence was a key factor in the Women’s Final Four drawing record television ratings.

Clark was selected No. 1 overall in the WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever on April 15, with her selection prompting record TV numbers.

Past Sullivan Award winners include Wilma Rudolph (1961), Bill Bradley (1965), Mark Spitz (1971), Bill Walton (1973), Carl Lewis (1981), Janet Evans (1989), Peyton Manning (1997), Michael Phelps (2003), Tim Tebow (2007) and Shawn Johnson (2008).

–Field Level Media

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