The Fever are Fired Up for Caitlin Clark

By Jordan Morey |

While she has yet to step foot in Indianapolis, Indiana Fever No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark has already received a full dose of Hoosier hospitality.

On Monday night, about an hour before the doors opened for a 2024 WNBA Draft party at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, a long line of eager fans snaked around the Bicentennial Unity Plaza grounds.

Waiting to get inside, hoops fans young and old from across the country reminisced about Clark’s legendary moments at the University of Iowa, and shared their hopes for the future of the Fever franchise.

RELATED: 10 Things to Know About Caitlin Clark »

Clark wouldn’t be in attendance for the party, as she was in New York for the official ceremony, but the communal gathering for the historic selection warranted an epic shindig.

The watch party wasn’t just a chance to see the pick come in with friends, but witness a potential cultural-shifting event.

After fans took advantage of several opportunities for family-friendly fun, including free souvenirs, meet-and-greets with current players, and games throughout the facility, the lower bowl in the Fieldhouse was packed with attendees.

Once the pick officially came in and blue, yellow, and red balloons descended from the rafters, an explosive roar from the crowd served as the crescendo to months of anticipation in the basketball-crazed state. Three of Clark’s new teammates — Erica Wheeler, Lexie Hull, and Maya Caldwell — were in attendance and erupted in excitement, running out to center court and donning Clark jerseys.

Inside the Fever draft war room, head coach Christie Sides could hear the reverberations of the crowd inside the arena, prompting her to dash to center court.

Wearing a red shirt with the text, “With the first pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, the Indiana Fever select, Caitlin Clark” across it (a shirt you can buy online), she asked the fans for an encore cheer after Fever TV play-by-play man Pat Boylan recited the words.

Sides got her wish, with the second outburst equally as loud as the first from the crowd.

“What showed up here tonight was incredible,” Sides said. “The atmosphere was incredible here for our draft party.”

Clark reciprocated that love from Gainbridge Fieldhouse minutes after the Fever selected her. In Brooklyn, Clark acknowledged how special basketball is in Indiana and how much she looks forward to joining the Fever and becoming a part of Hoosier Hysteria.

“Everything they do is just first-class,” Clark said. “I’m very lucky to be going there, to an organization that really loves women’s basketball. I mean, you see it there today. I think they had 17,000 tickets claimed to just watch the draft. I think that shows the excitement in Indianapolis. It’s a great basketball city.”

Clark was correct in her estimate of the number of tickets given out, and fans hurried to buy gear featuring her name across the back after the pick came in.

Fever general manager Lin Dunn said Clark is an exceptional talent who has the potential to help the team get back to championship-level competition while lifting the city up in the process.

“She really fits the culture of what we’re building here,” Dunn said. “Not only do we want great players in the court, we want great people in the community. And I think when you watch Caitlin Clark – what she does before the game and after the game, how fan-friendly she is, how much she gives back, her foundation – all of the things she does as a person fit with the type of people we want here. The great thing about her, she is a fantastic player and a fantastic person. So it’s a perfect fit for us.

“… Is there any place better for her than Indianapolis, Indiana? I can’t think of it.”

While Clark was the big-ticket name of the night, Fever supporters didn’t file out after her name was announced, as fans also stayed to hear the Indiana pick Ohio State guard Celeste Taylor with the No. 15 overall pick and Florida’s Leilani Correa at No. 27.

Clark will officially arrive in Indianapolis on Wednesday to meet with her new front office, coaches and teammates. Check back to for additional coverage. 2024 season ticket packages and single game tickets are available now at