The highly anticipated ESPN docuseries “Full Court Press” debuted Saturday with the first two episodes. Here’s what stood out regarding Caitlin Clark: |T

Caitlin Clark takeaways from first 2 episodes of ESPN docuseries “Full Court Press”


Created to put one more cherry on top of the incredible women’s college basketball season that just concluded, the first two episodes of ESPN’s “Full Court Press” docuseries took center stage Saturday afternoon.

Focused on Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso and UCLA’s Kiki Rice, this production offered an inside look at some of the biggest names who made the women’s basketball machine go. The final two episodes will air back-to-back on ABC Sunday afternoon, beginning at 11:30 a.m. CST.

Given the large amount of interviews Clark’s done and the countless articles that’ve dissected almost every element of her life to this point, the docuseries didn’t necessarily reveal a ton of new storylines. Instead it offered a different vantage point on some of the most discussed ones.

Here are some Clark-centered takeaways on episodes 1 and 2.

A deeper dive on Caitlin Clark took center stage Saturday with the first two episodes of ESPN's docuseries "Full Court Press."

A normal breakfast out offers a glimpse of the stardom Caitlin Clark holds

All throughout her Iowa tenure, Clark’s self-awareness surrounding her celebrity status was clear and apparent. She uttered the phrase “This comes with the territory” or similar versions repeatedly in press conferences and interviews.

Even so, the fame can get exhausting.

“Hardest part about being Caitlin Clark? I’d say is having to feel like you’re always on,” Clark said in the documentary. “You just have bad days, and there are days where you don’t want to talk to anyone. But somebody comes up to you, and this is their 10-second interaction with you. So you better smile and be kind. But at the same time, it’s just like, you just want to be normal sometimes.”

A Sunday morning breakfast at The Dandy Lion with boyfriend Connor McCaffery offered a snapshot of that. It happened on the day after Iowa’s riveting 84-57 win over Indiana on Jan. 13, the restaurant full of Iowa fans who traveled in for the game.

More:Unpacking early expectations for Iowa women’s basketball in the post-Caitlin Clark era

Meaning no harm of course, several of them offered congratulations as she waited for a table. And Clark even stepped outside to take a group picture with several fans despite snow everywhere. Another came up and high-fived her after Clark and McCaffery sat down.

While it was a largely innocent encounter, the breakfast showed a sliver of just how much Clark’s life has changed in the last year.

“This is not the same as what it was. Me and you, we cannot go and just walk around like nobody knows who you are. That’s not the reality of the situation,” McCaffery said. “And I think there are still moments when she realizes that, like ‘Damn, that kind of sucks.'”

Iowa's Caitlin Clark looks to Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder as they await the inbounds pass to resume play Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The Nebraska game

Although there weren’t many down moments in Iowa’s incredible march back to the national title game, arguably the lowest point of the season was Iowa’s 82-79 loss at Nebraska on Super Bowl Sunday.

Clark entered the day needing 39 points to break Kelsey Plum’s NCAA women’s basketball scoring record. The pregame chatter debated whether she would make history on the road or the following Thursday at home versus Michigan.

First, though, Clark had to make it out of bed.

“Caitlin wakes up really sick,” McCaffery said. “She says, ‘I don’t know if I can play.'”

Added Clark: “I had completely sweated through the entire bedsheets. It was just really bad. I had a giant Ziploc bag full of every drug you could imagine.”

Clark ultimately found the strength to play and had Iowa in position for a tough road win in a hostile environment up 14 entering the fourth quarter. Then … the wheels fell off.

Iowa mustered just 10 fourth-quarter points, including none from Clark, as Nebraska rallied back for a stunning 82-79 victory. The postgame scene in the Hawkeyes’ locker room was about as expected.

“That’s bull—-,” Clark said, directing her anger toward no one and everyone at the same time. “That team’s not fu—– better than us. Are you kidding me? Are you fu—– kidding me?”

Unsurprisingly, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder carried the same tone.

“We had a 14-point lead, pissed it away again,” said Bluder, referring to the double-digit fourth-quarter lead Iowa blew at Ohio State a few weeks earlier. “You’ve got to earn it. You earn it in practice. You earn it through your preparation. You earn it by knowing your scouting report. You earn it by boxing the f— out.”

The scene ends with Clark chucking something across the locker room. She’s never hid her Nebraska disdain.

Everything, of course, worked out from there. Iowa lost just once more until the national title game and got Nebraska back with an incredible rally in the Big Ten Tournament title game. But that Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena was not a fun one for the Hawkeyes.

COLUMBUS, OHIO - JANUARY 21: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes reacts after being called for a foul during the third quarter of the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena on January 21, 2024 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Iowa 100-92 in overtime. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

How does Caitlin Clark handle distractions she didn’t ask for?

Lobbed at Clark repeatedly as her fame skyrocketed, handling manufactured distractions quickly became a theme of her senior season. Never uttering a controversial word in front of a mic couldn’t prevent the obstacles from piling up.

“You can stay off Twitter. You can stay off Instagram. You can mute people, block people, hide comments — it doesn’t matter,” McCaffery said. “Eventually, you’re going to see something.

“She sees what people say. I don’t think anyone can understand the pressure she’s under, the microscope she’s under.”

One of the biggest out-of-control narratives centered on Clark’s postgame collision with an Ohio State fan amid a court storming. The 100-92 overtime loss to the Buckeyes on Jan. 21 marked Iowa’s first Big Ten defeat of the year.

“Everyone has an opinion,” Clark said. “A lot of people thought I ran into her on purpose. Which, why would I ever do that? I don’t know. But yeah, it definitely gets annoying. There are going to be people that love you, people that hate you. There are going to be a lot of people who want to see you fail.”

“Do I think I’m polarizing? Yeah, probably,” she said. “I feel like the way I play the game, the way I carry myself, the things I can do on the court. There are probably a lot of things people haven’t seen before, specifically on the women’s side of basketball.”

Other interesting and funny Caitlin Clark items from episodes 1 and 2

When Clark’s recruitment first started to heat up in seventh grade, her parents Brent and Anne decided to shield their daughter from the madness until further along in the process.

It was an entire family effort to do so.

“My parents would tell me, ‘When you get home after school, make sure you’re the first one to get the mail every day,'” said Clark’s brother, Blake, in charge of keeping the recruiting mail off his sister’s plate. “So I’d take the mail and hide it.”


A funny interaction between Clark and McCaffery in the Iowa training room.

“I just want to sleep for like three weeks straight when the season’s over,” Clark said.

“You want to sleep for three weeks straight during the season,” McCaffery shot back.

“That too,” Clark said. “I love sleeping.”


Clark called leading Iowa to the first of its back-to-back Final Fours “the most pressure I’ve had in my life.”

A large reason why was dripping with sarcasm.

“I get a little frustrated,” said Clark, speaking before her senior year started. “When people come up to me and are like, ‘only one thing left to do, win the national championship.'”

“Yeah, it’s that easy. Good point.”

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