Caitlin Clark 'not disappointed' about being left off U.S. Olympic team: 'Hopefully one day I can be there'

Caitlin Clark was reportedly left off Team USA's roster for the upcoming Paris Olympics, drawing impassioned responses from those who disagree and agree with the decision.

Clark, whose nascent tenure as a burgeoning WNBA star has served as a lightning rod at the slightest hint of controversy, addressed the decision on Sunday. As usual, she opted to stay above the fray. Clark spoke with reporters Sunday afternoon from Indiana Fever practice and was immediately asked about her reaction to being left off the roster.

"I'm excited for the girls that are on the team," she said. "I know it's the most competitive team in the world, and I knew it could've gone either way of me being on the team, me not being on the team. I'm excited for them. I'm going to be rooting them on to win gold."

She was then asked about her "level of disappointment" for being left off the roster.

"Honestly, no disappointment," Clark said. "I think it just gives you something to work for. It's a dream. Hopefully one day I can be there. I think it's just a little more motivation. You remember that, and hopefully in four years when four years comes back around, I can be there."

Clark added that she appreciated a call from USA Basketball officials to let her know about the decision and that she can make the most of the time off this summer from a whirlwind transition from Iowa to the WNBA. Clark and fellow top-3 pick Kamilla Cardoso made their WNBA debuts just weeks after facing off in the NCAA championship game that South Carolina won over Iowa.

Caitlin Clark said she'd use the Team USA decision as motivation, while Fever coach Christie Sides said Clark told her that
Caitlin Clark said she'd use the Team USA decision as motivation, while Fever coach Christie Sides said Clark told her that "they woke a monster." (Photo by Luke Hales/Getty Images)

USA's Olympic roster will reportedly feature WNBA veterans Kahleah Copper, Chelsea Gray, A'ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, Alyssa Thomas, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young and Sabrina Ionescu. No rookies made the cut.

Clark's coach Christie Sides said that she was "a little disappointed" that Clark didn't make the team. She also said that Clark told her that she's using the perceived snub as motivation.

"We talked actually on the bus — she got the call on the bus," Sides said. "She texted me to let me know. I just tried to keep her spirits. The thing she said was, 'Hey, coach, they woke a monster,' which I thought was awesome."

A sensation at Iowa who finished her college career as a two-time national finalist and the NCAA's all-time scoring leader, Clark is flashing her upside alongside her fellow high-profile rookies. She's also experiencing expected growing pains, most notably in the shooting and turnover columns.

Through 12 games of her WNBA career, Clark is averaging 16.8 points, 6.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 5.6 turnovers per game while shooting 37.3% from the floor and 32.7% from 3-point distance. The Fever — who won the lottery to select Clark after posting the third-worst record in the league last season — are off to a 3-9 start.