Clark’s Playful Slap Catches Martin Off Guard, Shows Lighter Side of Fever Star

Former Iowa teammates Caitlin Clark and Kate Martin crossed paths on the hardwood before their inaugural WNBA showdown as rivals, with Clark representing the Indiana Fever and Martin suiting up for the Las Vegas Aces. Their pre-game interaction culminated in an unexpected pat on the derriere from Clark, raising eyebrows and revealing a facet of the Fever star seldom witnessed by the public.

Clark and Martin’s Camaraderie Stems from College Days

The bond between Clark and Martin traces back to their collegiate tenure, when the inseparable duo from the same recruiting class cohabited and commuted to practice as a pair. Clark’s uncharacteristic behavior underscored the profound comfort level the two still share.

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Martin’s presence appeared to unlock a mischievous, playful aspect of Clark’s persona that is infrequently on display, as the 22-year-old is typically preoccupied with defending herself against detractors, embodying a role model for the next generation, and inking a perpetual stream of endorsement deals.

Clark’s meteoric rise to stardom at Iowa afforded her scant opportunities to simply revel in youthful exuberance, but Martin served as a grounding force, often alleviating the immense pressure. Their fates remained intertwined en route to the W, as Martin attended the WNBA Draft solely to support her friend who was selected first overall, only to be unexpectedly drafted in the second round by the reigning back-to-back champions.

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Hawkeyes Reunite in Sin City

The clash between the former Iowa standouts made for must-see television, with Las Vegas emerging victorious by a 99-80 margin. Clark and Martin took turns defending each other as their collegiate coach Lisa Bluder looked on from the stands. It was the most productive outing of Martin’s fledgling career, as she amassed 12 points and seven rebounds in the win.

“It was weird, I’m not gonna lie,” Martin confessed to NBA TV after the game, reflecting on facing her best friend for the first time in her life.

Although the Fever fell to 1-6 on the season, the reunion of Clark and Martin provided captivating entertainment. It afforded Indiana fans a glimpse into Clark’s true persona, beyond the glaring intensity of the spotlight.

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