DALLAS, TEXAS - APRIL 02: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes shoots the ball against Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers during the fourth quarter during the 2023 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament championship game at American Airlines Center on April 02, 2023 in Dallas, Texas.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Two Women's Basketball Icons Share Sporting News Athlete of the Year Award

The Sporting News just announced the co-winners of its 2023 Athlete of the Year Award: Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese. 

Alongside its official announcement on The Sporting News' website that honored the two winners, TSN also dropped an awesome YouTube video that honors all that each of these women have done for basketball in 2023. 

For Iowa's Clark — who is currently chasing the NCAA's all-time record for most Division I basketball points scored, regardless of gender — The Sporting News included accolades in the video such as "largest crowd in women's basketball history," "41 points in back-to-back NCAA Tournament games" and "Women's Naismith Player of the Year."

As for Reese — who plays for Kim Mulkey's LSU Tigers — The Sporting News noted that she had "34 straight double doubles," she "led all March Madness athletes in merchandise sales" and she was a "National Champion." 

Then The Sporting News noted both Clark and Reese's combined feats from 2023, such as "combined 6.5+ million social media followers," "over $4 million in NIL deals" and "12.6 million viewers in NCAA Championship game (most in history)" — all of which constitutes a more-than-deserving resumé for the two winners. 

The official announcement for the Athlete of the Year Award also included quotes from powerful figures within collegiate and professional basketball — including many kind words from Steph White, head coach of the WNBA's Connecticut Sun and a women's NCAA and NBA analyst for ESPN.

When talking about the impact that both Clark and Reese have had on women's basketball, White said, "I'm so thankful that we have female athletes who, No. 1, are as competitive and talented and versatile as they are. I'm thankful that we have a game that is garnering the attention that it deserves. And the players are allowed to authentically be themselves. No longer are we in that day and age when it's not 'ladylike' to compete like this, that it's not respected to compete like that."

White continued: "With each generation, the expectations of what it means to be a female athlete have been laid out for them. And these two are defining their own way, their own identities, their own expectations. And I think that's what it means to be an elite athlete."

We could have not put it any better ourselves. 

Congratulations to Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese for winning this prestigious award. It's well deserved.  

MORE: Angel Reese Addresses LSU Absence After Virginia Tech Win