Caitlin Clark’s Olympic Absence: Fueling Future Fire or Losing Golden Opportunity?

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Los Angeles 2028: Lisa Bluder Expresses Concern Over Caitlin Clark’s Absence from National Team

Former Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder is voicing concerns about the long-term implications of Caitlin Clark’s absence from the USA Basketball national team, which is preparing for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

Bluder acknowledges that the Olympic team is incredibly talented, boasting an undefeated record since 1992. However, she suggests that Clark’s exclusion may have repercussions for the team’s future.

“The only ‘but’ I have is: What about the future? Because this team has not lost a game since 1992,” Bluder said. “So, they’re a great group. They’re experienced. There’s no doubt we’re going to win another gold medal in Paris. But what about the fact that in four years we’re going to be playing in L.A.? How are we preparing for that? That would be my only ‘but.'”

Bluder believes Clark’s absence is a missed opportunity to develop a player for the future. She notes that Clark has a proven track record of representing USA Basketball and winning three gold medals in her youth career.

“She’s represented USA Basketball many times. She’s won three gold medals. But we have to remember, it is the hardest team to make anywhere. It is the hardest team to make,” Bluder said. “And the 12 women that they have chosen are exceptional women.”

Bluder suggests that Clark’s absence is especially disappointing considering that the United States will be hosting the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

“I think it would have benefited Caitlin if she would have had another year of experience and maybe not be coming right off of her collegiate season where she’s pretty tired, as you can see in her play right [now]. Her body needs a rest,” Bluder said.

Despite her concerns, Bluder acknowledges the silver lining in Clark’s situation. She believes the rest will benefit her in the long run, and Clark herself has stated that her exclusion will only motivate her.

“Any time that somebody doubts her, somebody says she can’t do something, she’s going to prove them wrong.” Bluder said.