IN PHOTOS: Iowa coach Jan Jensen's wife Julie Fitzpatrick celebrates Kate Martin's birthday with heartwarming snaps from WNBA game

Iowa coach Jan Jensen, her wife Julie Fitzpatrick and WNBA rookie Kate Martin
Iowa coach Jan Jensen, her wife Julie Fitzpatrick and WNBA rookie Kate Martin. Credit: @juliefitzpatrick22 & @lvaces on IG

Former Iowa Hawkeyes star and now Las Vegas Aces rookie Kate Martin has seamlessly settled into life in the WNBA, averaging 5.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Moreover, she celebrated her birthday on Jun. 5.

The Iowa community has been incredibly supportive of their WNBA rookies, regularly attending their games to offer support. New head coach Jan Jensen and retired Hawkeyes coach Lisa Bluder were present during an Aces versus Indiana Fever clash to support their proteges.

Jensen's wife, Julie Fitzpatrick, continued the trend of support and wished Martin a happy birthday on Instagram with a heartwarming collection of pictures of the duo during a WNBA game. The post was captioned:

"Happy Birthday Kate Martin! Grateful for these photos that capture the joy I’ve always had for you. @brilewerkephoto thank you for capturing this special moment! Keep being beautiful you 20! ❤️🎉🎂☀️"

The popular Martin was also part of a tongue-in-cheek hazing video during her birthday when teammate A'ja Wilson posted a video of the rookie being left by the team bus and having to chase after it with her teammates laughing in the background.

Kate Martin garners WNBA popularity

Kate Martin was used to being the Robin to Caitlin Clark's Batman during their Iowa Hawkeyes careers, a role that she played to perfection, pushing the team to new heights each season.

While Caitlin Clark is still the face of the 2024 WNBA rookie class, Martin is holding her own in terms of popularity with the defending champions Las Vegas Aces.

The former Iowa star's No. 20 jerseys sold out just four games into the season, showing her newfound celebrity status in the league.

Martin is not only popular with the fans but also with her seasoned teammates, including star Kelsey Plum. During a news conference, Plum sang the praises of the rookie, highlighting the qualities that make her such a special teammate.

"Kate Martin is awesome. Martin picks up things so quickly, she's an amazing sponge," Plum said. "I think Becky nicknamed her Kate 'Money' Martin. I think that's gonna stick because she really is. And when I say 'money,' it's not just about scoring and stuff, she's just in the right place at the right time.
"She just makes people better, and that's what Becky values, that's what our coaching staff values and that's why she's gonna be a great asset to our team."

Kate Martin is barely a few weeks old in the professional game and is already one of the cult figures of the WNBA, cultivating her own fanbase much like she did during her Hawkeyes career.

What could Alabama basketball's 2024-25 starting lineup look like? Find out here

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