The senior point guard, who was out all last season with a torn ACL, has made a nice comeback this winter, averaging 4.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 6.5 points per game for the Irish (10-1 as of Jan. 11). She is also shooting 86 percent from the free throw line. “She’s made a lot of stuff happen for us this season,” said Notre Dame basketball head coach Mary Beth McNichol. “Her motor is always going, plus she’s a great defender. We really missed her defense [last year].”
Q: Tell us about your first game of the season, your first contest for Notre Dame since your torn ACL. What is your most vivid memory of that game – can you share it with us?
A: My first game of this season was very special for me because I haven’t played in my Notre Dame uniform since my sophomore year. I have to admit I was extremely nervous that first game back at Springfield. I also was feeling emotional that it was my last season of high school basketball. After a few minutes into the game I was feeling like my normal self again and just happy to be out there.
Q: Coach McNichol has really lauded your defense this season. What (to you) has been the biggest key to your defensive success this season?
A: I have always loved playing defense for some reason. Defense is something that has come pretty naturally to me. The biggest key to my defensive [success] is probably just telling myself to play hard every minute of every game.
Q: Tell us a little about the torn ACL and the rehab. How long was the rehab? What was the most challenging part of the rehab?
A: Tearing my ACL definitely was not fun, but through [the experience] I always told myself that it could’ve been worse. If that was my biggest problem in life then I’m doing pretty well! The most challenging part for me was getting my full range of motion back after my surgery. Unfortunately I had to get a second minor surgery to make it easier for me to regain my range of motion. That slowed my recovery down a bit, but after that everything went smoothly.
Q: Was it much of a challenge to assume the leadership role expected of a point guard at the beginning of the season after being out of the Notre Dame lineup for a year?
A: It was not much of a challenge because my team has some of the best girls I know on it. I can call every single girl on my team a good friend and that makes things a whole lot easier.
Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game are you currently working on the most?
A: I believe my defense is the strongest part of my game. Something that I am always working on to get better at is my offensive game.
Q: What is your favorite basketball venue, and why?
A: My high school gym at Notre Dame is definitely my favorite. I am just so used to it and have great memories there.
Q: Who have been your biggest basketball mentors, and what was the important thing each of them taught you?
A: All of my coaches in the past from C.Y.O. to A.A.U., to now high school have been great mentors to me. My biggest basketball mentor is probably my dad, because he taught me mostly everything I know from when I was a little girl.
Fun facts – Caitlyn Clark
Favorite book: Looking For Alaska.
Favorite author: John Green.
Favorite TV show: One Tree Hill.
Favorite movie: Elf.
Favorite athlete: Steph Curry.
Favorite pre-game meal: Pasta.
Favorite color: Pink.
Person I most admire: “My parents, just because of the people they are and how they raised me. I’m so blessed and I can’t thank them enough for everything they do for me!”
Birth date: June 1, 1998.
Family members: father Tom, mother Margie, brother Tommy (age 19.)
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)