It was a good day: Ice Cube’s Big3 extends $5M offer to Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark, a standout in Iowa women’s basketball, has received a groundbreaking $5 million offer to play in the Big3 league, as confirmed by the league’s co-founder Ice Cube on social media on Wednesday.

Ice Cube intended for the offer to Caitlin Clark to stay under wraps while she competes in the championship, expressing on social media, “BIG3 has extended a historic offer to Caitlin Clark, a player of a generation, capable of achieving significant success in the BIG3.”

He highlighted past successes in the league, such as Nancy Lieberman’s championship win as the first female coach for a men’s pro team, followed by Lisa Leslie’s victory in her second year. Ice Cube views the offer to Clark as an opportunity for her to make history and advance women athletes’ representation.

Clark, set to compete in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 in Albany, New York, was not available for comments. ESPN has reached out to her representation at Excel for insights.

Further inquiries were made by ESPN to the WNBA and the players’ union about the possibility of Clark’s participation in another league under the current collective bargaining agreement, which includes rules on prioritization that may impact playing in overseas leagues. The implications of these rules on Clark’s potential Big3 involvement remain unclear.

The WNBA did not comment directly on Clark’s situation with the Big3 league but highlighted that Clark could earn over half a million dollars in the upcoming season through WNBA earnings, endorsements, and partnerships, reportedly already exceeding $3 million.

Clark, anticipated to be the No. 1 draft pick by the Indiana Fever in the upcoming WNBA draft on April 15, could earn a rookie salary starting at $76,535, increasing to $97,582 by her fourth season, excluding potential marketing agreement earnings with the league.

The union’s spokesperson stated they were not informed about the Big3 offer to Clark and therefore could not comment on it.

Ice Cube, during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” mentioned he believes Clark can manage playing in both the Big3 and the WNBA, requiring a 10-week commitment for the Big3’s season, including playoffs. He expressed a desire to collaborate with both the WNBA and NBA, hoping Clark’s participation could facilitate this.

He advocated for Nancy Lieberman as an ideal coach and mentor for Clark in the Big3, suggesting Clark’s involvement would significantly elevate the league’s profile, benefiting ratings, attendance, and sponsor interest due to her exceptional talent and marketability.

Clark’s endorsement portfolio is impressive, featuring partnerships with notable brands like Nike, State Farm, Gatorade, and Gainbridge, the latter holding the naming rights to the arena home to the Indiana Fever and the NBA’s Pacers.

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