Caitlin Clark embraces ex-Iowa teammate Kate Martin as Aces take on Fever in Indiana

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal
Former longtime Iowa teammates Caitlin Clark and Kate Martin will face each other on Saturday as opponents for the first time in their respective basketball career.

Kate Martin said on Friday that the longest she and Caitlin Clark had been away from each other was a month. They were together last, at least publicly, on Apr. 16 when Clark was picked No. 1 by the Indiana Fever in the 2024 WNBA Draft. Martin, who came to support her best friend, was taken by the Las Vegas Aces at No. 18 in the second round.

On Saturday night, almost every women’s basketball fan will be looking at the Fever-Aces matchup for a couple of things. It will be Clark’s first close look at the two-time defending champs who are heavily favored to make it a three-peat. Yhe former Iowa superstar will unite with her erstwhile longtime Hawkeyes teammate.

Before the highly awaited game, Caitlin Clark and Kate Martin shared a heartwarming moment:

Words are not needed to explain how the two felt based on the smiles on their faces. Clark and Martin simply couldn’t hold back their excitement of seeing each other again. After their four years spent as teammates, seeing them in different uniforms will hit different particularly to fans of both.

Kate Martin started her career in Iowa during the 2019-20 season, just a year ahead of Caitlin Clark. It didn’t take long for the backup guard to become close with the emerging star. As Clark continued her path to become perhaps the best collegiate women’s basketball player ever, Martin remained her closest friend.

At some point, the two probably figured out that their basketball paths would diverge. Clark was the unanimous No. 1 pick among scouts while Martin, who wasn’t invited by the WNBA to the draft, didn't make much noise.

As expected, Caitlin Clark was taken by the Indiana Fever, while Kate Martin was surprisingly picked by the Las Vegas Aces. Nobody was more excited for the backup guard’s opportunity than Indiana’s highly touted rookie.

Fans can’t wait to see Kate Martin and Caitlin Clark guard each other

Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon told the media that she signed Kate Martin because of “her work ethic, her competitiveness and her brain.”

On Saturday, Hammon will try to use those traits against the Indiana Fever’s engine on offense. Martin will not start, but she could spend some time guarding her best friend.

The Aces will be wary of Clark’s big-game ability after what she showed just barely 24 hours ago in Los Angeles. She dropped 33-foot and 29-foot clutch 3-pointers to help the Fever hold on for their first victory of the season by beating the LA Sparks 78-73.

It will not be surprising if Hammon calls on Martin to help contain Indiana’s starting guard. It will be a moment fans can’t wait to happen.

Also read: 'She wants to guard each other': Aces rookie Kate Martin discusses matchup against best friend Caitlin Clark

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