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Kathleen Clark’s college career ended Sunday with a loss to South Carolina in the national championship. But the Iowa star’s popularity won’t go away.

“I know the next thing will happen soon,” she said.

Eight days, to be exact.

That’s when Clarke will enter the WNBA draft in New York, where she is expected to be the No. 1 pick by the Indiana Fever. After gaining national prominence in her collegiate career, there are already signs that she will make an impact in the professional leagues.

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What you need to know about the WNBA draft

The draft will be held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York on April 15 at 7:30 pm (ET). ESPN will broadcast the draft and also stream it on Fubo.
Here’s the order of the first round of the draft:

1. Indiana fever
2. Los Angeles Sparks
3. Chicago Sky (via Phoenix)
4. Los Angeles Sparks (via Seattle)
5. Dallas Wings (via Chicago)
6. Washington Mystics
7. Minnesota Lynx
8. Chicago Sky (via Atlanta)
9. Dallas Wings
10. Connecticut Sun
11. New York Liberty
12. Atlanta Dream (via Las Vegas)

What kind of impact will Clark have in the WNBA?

Let’s start with the court. Clark needs to work harder for her shot. (Don’t think these veterans aren’t licking their chops to shut her down.) But her seemingly limitless range and impressive accuracy still make her hard to guard. Where she can make an immediate impact is her passing.

She is already one of the best in college, finishing her career with a record 1,144 assists. Clark’s Iowa teammates weren’t always adept at converting her passes. Now imagine what 2023 Rookie of the Year Aaliyah Boston would do with a nice pass from Clark.

With marketing and star power, the WNBA needs to be better prepared. The Heat are seeing a huge increase in ticket sales, and the Las Vegas Aces have announced a move to a bigger arena to accommodate more fans when they come to town. Last season, the Heat had the second-lowest attendance in the league, behind only Atlanta, which plays in a much larger arena and averages 85 percent capacity. The Fever may be one of the most popular fan destinations.

The Heat’s road games should also see record numbers, similar to what Iowa experienced. The Hawkeyes will sell out all but two of their games this season – home, road or postseason. Her fans aren’t going anywhere.

Will she lose money going to the WNBA?

This narrative has been shot down time and time again, but it still persists with some who have no reason to believe in her patronage. Clark has the most endorsement deals of any college basketball player. (You’ve seen the State Farm commercials, right?) Those aren’t going away, and expect some great sneaker deals coming her way.

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Kathleen Clarke’s business is booming. Here’s how her WNBA sponsorships line up

As the projected No. 1 pick, she will be guaranteed $76,535 in her first season. (She didn’t earn a salary at Iowa.) If she doesn’t want to play in the next WNBA offseason, she can make up to $250,000 in a league marketing deal and up to $100,000 in a team marketing deal. If she goes abroad, she can expect a good deal from a team in Europe or China.

But with her marketing power, she could sign more endorsement deals.

Should Clark have gone pro?

No. Like other seniors, Clark was granted extra eligibility by the NCAA because of the suspension. She announced on Feb. 29 that she would not be returning to Iowa City, raising the possibility of her exiting the competition.

Who else will be in the draft?

look for Athletics The postseason mock draft is coming up in a few days. But other potential stars are expected to hear their names called.

South Carolina’s Camila Cardoso, Stanford’s Cameron Brink and Tennessee’s Rickyah Jackson are expected to be early picks. LSU’s Angel Reese is expected to be selected around No. 8.

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WNBA Mock Draft: Where Does Angel Reese Land? Who will be chosen after Kathleen Clarke?

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(Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)