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

Former longtime Iowa teammates Caitlin Clark and Kate Martin will be playing against each other on Saturday in the WNBA.
Former longtime Iowa teammates Caitlin Clark and Kate Martin will be playing against each other on Saturday in the WNBA.

Four of Kate Martin’s five years with the Iowa Hawkeyes were spent playing with Caitlin Clark. Martin had already carved a role as a backup guard when the highly touted Clark arrived to become the school’s cornerstone in women’s basketball. Together, they formed a bond that has transcended the game.

Martin is so supportive of her former teammate that she attended the 2024 WNBA Draft to cheer for her friend. As expected, the two-time John Wooden Award winner was selected No. 1 by the Indiana Fever. While that choice was a no-brainer for the franchise, what came in the second round was quite a surprise.

Kate Martin was picked in the second round by the Las Vegas Aces as the 18th overall pick in the said draft. From teammates, it wouldn’t be long before they will be taking on each other in what might be the biggest WNBA regular season game.

That day has finally arrived, as the Fever are in Sin City to battle the two-time defending champs on Saturday. When asked about the highly anticipated meeting with Caitlin Clark’s team, Martin said:

“We’ve kind of joked with each other back and forth (and). There has been a lot of banter. She wants to (us) to guard each other, but I don’t know, it’s just kind of funny. … She’s my best friend more than us as basketball players, so I just miss my friend, and I’m excited to see her.”

Kate Martin and Caitlin Clark in different uniforms and likely guarding each other will be quite the scene. Martin could see some time for her defense and shooting, Clark will be front and center of Indiana’s offense. At one point, they will probably take on each other, which will be a mano-a-mano duel many will be watching out for.


Caitlin Clark and Kate Martin will have to set their friendship aside for the Fever-Aces game

Despite being close buddies, Caitlin Clark and Kate Martin will have to set aside their friendship first when the tip-off for the Fever-Aces game happens.

Indiana is coming off its first WNBA win of the season less than 24 hours ago when it beat the LA Sparks. Clark and her teammates will look to make it two in a row despite their disadvantageous schedule.

The Aces, meanwhile, failed to keep a clean slate, as they bowed down 98-88 to the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday.

With both teams having clear goals for Saturday’s encounter, Clark and Martin will likely be going after each other. They will compete and likely even talk a little trash before getting together after the game.

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