This is all pretty exciting. I have never written a guide to the cards of a female basketball player before. That is a sign of how far the hobby has come in accepting women’s sports, though not far enough.
May this be the first of many guides I write on this sport and join many others penned by better writers. And there could be no better choice for this than Clark, who is now in her fourth year of averaging over 26 points a game in the NCAA and seems destined to shatter the records for highest NCAA scorer ever.
Without further ado, here is a Caitlin Clark basketball cards guide.
If you are reading this article, you probably have some idea why you did so. Therefore, I will keep it short and sweet. At 19 years old, she is among the most recognized players in the sport’s history.
Clark has earned a lot of her reputation by representing her country. Winning no less than three gold medals for the United States, two at the FIBA Under-19 Women’s World Cup and one at the FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship. The point guard even won the MVP in the 2021 World Cup.
But it’s her NCAA form that has truly captured the imagination. Clark was the fastest D1 player in over 25 years to reach 3,000 career points. One of the most amazing things about Clark’s college career was that she arrived seemingly fully formed in her first year for the Hawkeyes.
The freshman got a double-double in her second game and her first triple-double by the end of the month. Who scores 26.6 points and passes for 7 assists in their first year? Well, you know who. And those were freshman records for the program.
In 2022, Clark somehow upped her game and led the Hawkeyes to the title. On the way, Caitlin became the first woman to coach Division I in points and assists in the same season. Meanwhile, she also led in total points, free throws and triple-doubles. It was just a monster season.
Last season, Clark won every major award in the country: AP Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year, the John Wooden Award, and everything else. While Iowa did not win the title, Clark dominated the Final Four, breaking the record (for men or women) with 191 points in the tournament. She also had 60 assists, the most ever for women. It was just ridiculous.
With this kind of college career, there is almost no question that she will be the #1 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft, ahead of Cameron Brink. This wasn’t as quick and to the point as I had hoped. But trust me. This is the condensed version of what may be the best women’s college basketball career ever.
As you can see, Clark has been an absolute sensation in college. She is arguably better known than any male college player right now. Rightfully so. She is better than any of them (sorry, Zach Edey). The value of many of her cards is accordingly high. But many collectors have suspicions nonetheless. We aren’t used to women’s basketball cards having real value.
But that is living in the past, man. There has been a significant change in this regard. Breanna Stewart’s cards are routinely going for hundreds of dollars on eBay, while her absolute best cards sell for over a thousand dollars. Considering her outstanding college career, she is the closest equivalent to Clark, who saw the Huskies start being selected as Final Four Most Outstanding Player four times. But Clark has gotten even more press. A lot of that is because women’s basketball has never been bigger.
There is every reason to believe Caitlin will dominate the WNBA. It is also highly likely that she will lead the US women’s basketball to Olympic gold. Possibly more than once. This is just the likely career trajectory for someone of this quality. Therefore, the cards could end up being worth quite a bit.
How well are her cards doing? Well, her 2022 Bowman University Superfractor Caitlin Clark Rookie Auto is currently on auction at PWCC.
According to a press report given to us by Berk Communications: the card “offers collectors a chance to own a 1/1 issue of arguably the most exciting player in women’s college basketball. Topps did not pull any punches on the flip side, rattling off a list of surreal accomplishments in Clark’s Iowa career. With three USA Women’s Basketball team gold medals hanging from her shelf, this Bowman U card reminds fans that the fearless point guard is on her way to stacking Michael Jordan-like hardware. This all-chromium “1st Bowman” release has the added benefit of NCAA licensing, which the prior year’s set did not boast.”
The card sold for $78,000, setting a record for a Women’s basketball card. This is not just a considerable amount for a women’s basketball card, but any basketball card. But that shows how the combination of licensed cards from a beloved release like Bowman and increased attention for the women’s game is changing what is possible for cards in the sport.
Since Caitlin is not a professional player yet, we don’t have her legit rookie cards. But as an earth-shattering college player, she already has her share of trading cards on the market. As we have seen, some of them already have a substantial value on the market. Here are the best of the best.
When Clark was in high school, she was considered one of the top players in the country. However, people had no idea she would be THIS good. This card comes from Clark’s participation in the Iowa Attack, a Nike-sponsored team.
They, of course, won the national championship that year with the help of Clark. The Future Stars card has a charming and unpolished quality to it.
The picture features a disheveled-looking Clark shooting a free throw. The cards are pretty standard and don’t go for much. But they are a great keepsake from the earliest days of the star.
Bowman has been running its version of Topps Now, which is its version of Panini Instant, since 2023. The series features the release of weekly cards.
The Caitlin Clark #U12 /3237 card is perhaps the best beloved one to feature the Iowa State point guard. It commemorates an incredible game where she dropped 44 points. Clark scored 44 points and took down eight rebounds while passing for six assists against eighth-ranked Virginia Tech.
That is just points from her all-time career high of 46 points in a loss to Michigan. The game was on a huge stage at the Spectrum Center, where the Charlotte Hornets play. The atmosphere there was final-four-worthy and was an unforgettable event for all involved.
The Hardwood Warriors insert celebrates the best college players in the game. And they do not get any better than Caitlin Clark. It emphasizes the toughness that allows players to reach the pinnacle of their game.
The back of this beautiful card says, “As one of the best scorers in the game, Clark gets fouled a lot. She shrugs it off and drains the free throws.” That is so true.
The point guard has a remarkable “bring it on” attitude that this card captures nicely. Clark looks in command, and the relief of the classic basketball court is very cool. The raw cards are worth very little, but a PSA 10 can go for $180 or so.
Clark continues a long tradition of great female athletes with a rookie card in the Sports Illustrated for Kids cards release. Most famously, the Mia Hamm is the only early career card for the most significant American soccer player ever.
Of course, Caitlin’s cards’ Sports Illustrated features will never be worth as much because the official Bowman releases came the following year. While the designs for these cards are always quite spartan, it has one of the best action shots on any card. It shows the Hawkeyes virtuoso going up for a layup.
As with every Sports Illustrated For Kids card, these are hard to grade because of the perforated sides. Therefore, the graded versions tend to be PSA 5s or so.
Your best bet is probably to keep the entire sheet of these together. It comes with Tim Anderson, LaMelo Ball, Danil Medvedev, Brenden Aaronson, and Justin Herbert. So how can you lose?
Clark has played some of her best basketball for the Red, White, and Blue. Therefore, this patriotic card is an excellent tribute to her success for Team USA.
Is there anything better than watching hapless foreign players trying desperately to guard the all-American force that is Caitlin Clark? We also expect her to bring home at least two Olympic gold medals. No pressure.
When Megan Gustafson became the all-time Hawkeyes scoring leader in 2018, no one expected that mark to be passed so soon. But on November 12, 2023, Clark broke the record, which she has gone on to shatter since.
She also became the second player in NCAA history (after one Sabrina Ionescu) to nab triple-doubles in four different seasons. The card commemorates this fantastic event, showing Clark in her typically focused mode.
The print run stands at 2820, which could undoubtedly be higher. That will add to the value of these cards, as will the unforgettable game they commemorate. We also like the picture showing Clark in her signature wings spread celebration pose.
The great thing about these Bowman University Now cards is they allow fans to track all the incredible achievements of Clark’s career. And there are certainly a ton of them.
Clark became the 15th player ever to pass 3,000 points in a career. It also shows the player demonstrating her soft side by making a heart sign for her fans.
She is currently chasing Kelsey Plum, who is 176 points ahead of her at the time of writing. At her current pace, it is believed the Hawkeyes star will shatter the record at some point in February.
This Bowman University Now card celebrates the moment when Caitlin broke the 3,000-point barrier, becoming the 15th player ever to do so. The one for her record-breaking night will definitely be worth collecting.
Bowman expanded its University offerings by adding a Bowman’s Best release for the 2022 season. Like in all the Bowman’s Basketball releases of that year, Clark was the biggest name, alongside Victor Wembanyama, of course.
The God version sells for particularly high prices, which is why we picked it. However, the Green Refractor arguably looks even better. The Lava Refractor is another excellent option, coming slightly off the beaten track.
The flattering shot of the slashing point guard is well-complimented by the distinctive metallic background of the Bowman’s Best cards.
The 2022-23 Bowman card is the alleged Clark Bowman 1st. Therefore, her cards in that release are generally worth more money.
Nonetheless, Caitlin remains one of the most sought-after players in the 2023-24 Bowman University Chrome. She is, after all, the biggest name in college basketball. Yes, I am including Bronny James here. Let’s get real.
As we have seen, the 1/1 version of this card is already breaking records on auction, and it hasn’t even reached its final price yet. It is a sign of how far we have come that in a release with male and female players; you find yourself praying for the female ones.
This is technically a Bowman 1st, but it reaches far too late in her career for that to have much meaning. But that hasn’t stopped this card from enjoying extreme values. A /50 Orange Refractor version of this card sold for $2,000 recently.
The auto is lovely, and her sublime penmanship makes her cards desirable. The action pic is also one of the best Clark I’ve ever seen. It captures the superstar scanning downcourt for a playmaking opportunity. But I have to say, this kind of value on a sticker auto seems a bit far-fetched.
When all is said and done, Clark may be the best women’s basketball player ever. We don’t know yet. But one thing is for sure. Clark is the most marketable.
She has an undeniable charisma and a winning “in your face” attitude. As importantly, she is coming into her own just as women’s basketball cards are mainstreaming.
The NCAA Final between Clark’s Hawkeyes and LSU attracted an incredible 9.9 million viewers. This is now a massive sport with a hungry market.
The prices are already high. But there is reason to believe Clark’s market will continue to grow. She is a natural winner. And unlike some NCAA stars, her skills seem very likely to translate well to the WNBA.
Indeed, her effect on the college game may be replicated in the WNBA. We will also likely see great moments with this player in the Olympics. Therefore, we will all be waiting for her legit rookie cards. But we can’t guarantee they will be worth more than that massive Bowman 1st.
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