Caitlin Clark

Sheryl Swoopes says she reached out to Caitlin Clark over controversial comments

"It was a really good conversation," Swoopes said of her exchange with Clark

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Basketball Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes revealed that she reached out to Caitlin Clark in the wake of her recent controversial comments about the Iowa star.

Swoopes, who was on the call for Sunday's Baylor-Texas Tech game, said on the broadcast that she and Clark shared "a really good conversation."

"A couple of weeks ago, I reached out to (LSU forward Angel Reese) and had a really good conversation with Angel over the phone and sent a message to Caitlin. She responded. She and I went back and forth,” Swoopes said on the broadcast, via The Athletic. “I won’t share what she said, I’ll leave that to her if she wants to share. But I will say, what I said to her was, ‘I made a mistake in saying it was your fifth year when it is your fourth.’

“I have nothing but respect for what she has done for the game. If she wants to share what her response was and how that conversation went, I’ll leave that to her. But it was a really good conversation.”

What did Sheryl Swoopes say about Caitlin Clark?

As Clark was closing in on Kelsey Plum's NCAA women's all-time scoring record, Swoopes minimized the imminent accomplishment by incorrectly stating that Clark played an extra season compared to Plum.

Swoopes, who's a former three-time WNBA MVP and four-time WNBA champion, made the comments during a Jan. 29 appearance on ex-NBA player Gilbert Arenas' "Gil's Arena" show.

“If Kelsey Plum set that record in four years, well, Caitlin should’ve broke that record in four years,” Swoopes said. “But because there’s a COVID year, and then there’s another year, you know what I mean? So she’s already had an extra year to break that record. So, is it truly a broken record? I don’t know. I don’t think so. But yeah, that’ll go in the record books. And, I don’t think it should be.”

"Gil's Arena" host Josiah Johnson later noted that Clark was actually in her fourth season.

Plum racked up 3,527 points in 139 games over four seasons at the University of Washington. And while Clark is eligible to return to Iowa for an extra COVID-19 year next season, she broke Plum's record as a fourth-year senior in her 126th career game.

Here are five things to know about Caitlin Clark, guard for the Iowa Hawkeyes women’s basketball team.

That wasn't the only inaccurate thing Swoopes said about Clark, either. While explaining why Clark and LSU star Angel Reese won't dominate in the WNBA from Day 1, Swoopes said Clark "probably takes about 40 shots a game." Clark, however, is averaging 22.7 shots per game this season.

Swoopes did go on to say she believes Clark and Reese will eventually become "helluva WNBA players" and that they will help grow the league's popularity. But that didn't stop her comments from creating a stir in the basketball world.

After receiving some backlash, Swoopes posted the following message on Instagram: "First off, I was asked for MY opinion. Not asking anyone to agree or disagree. Second, NEVER hatin' on ANYBODY. Wayyyyy too blessed for that! Third, I wish NOTHING but the best for AR and CC! Yall be blessed! Yall funny."

At Iowa's first home game following Swoopes' comments, fans were spotted wearing "Don't be a Sheryl" shirts.

Reese came to Swoopes' defense on Monday, posting a photo of herself wearing a "Be a Sheryl" sweatshirt alongside the Hall of Famer.

Clark and No. 4 Iowa are set to return to action against No. 14 Indiana on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, with the Big Ten showdown airing on Peacock. Clark is 99 points away from Pete Maravich's all-time NCAA scoring record for men's and women's of 3,667.

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