Caitlin Clark is a verified college basketball star. The 22-year-old University of Iowa player is the second-leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball history, and is poised to break the record soon (perhaps even on Super Bowl Sunday!). She's already Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, taking the title of the Division-I player to record 3,300+ points, 900+ assists, and 800+ rebounds in a career, according to her bio. So, it makes sense that all eyes have been on Caitlin this year after such a successful season.
You probably won't be surprised to learn that the Big Ten Player of the Year comes from a line of sports enthusiasts. Yep, Caitlin's family is filled to the brim with sports lovers and athletes alike. So, as you watch her crushing it on the court, know that her (very talented) fam will be somewhere in the crows cheering her on.
Here’s everything to know about Caitlin Clark’s family so far:
Her grandfather was a high school football coach.
Caitlin’s grandfather, Bob Nizzi, was the football coach at Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa. Caitlin attended the same high school, and, naturally, carried on the family tradition by joining the basketball team there. Her grandfather shared a story with HawkFanatic about the moment he knew his granddaughter was destined for greatness.
Bob said that he and his wife, Caitlin’s grandmother, were watching a 5-year-old Caitlin struggle on the court. There was a boy twice her size playing a tough defense against Caitlin, Bob recalled.
“They were playing and there was a particularly large young man and rather aggressive that was about to position and out strength Caitlin and sometimes to the point where he was really taking advantage of the little girl," he shared.
Caitlin’s dad, Brent Clark, was her coach at the time, and he benched Caitlin while she was crying, waiting for her to gather her composure.
“Upon her going back in she never went to the ball to participate in the game that was going on,” her grandfather said. “She went right to this guy and put on the best downfield block that I have ever seen and rolled this kid out of bounds and stood over him. She’s a five-year old little girl and that is when her grandmother and I looked at each other and said, ‘she’s going to be really something.’
Her dad played sports in college.
Brent coached Caitlin when she was a little girl, and he certainly had the background to do so. Her dad was a sports star in his own right while at college. Brent played both basketball and baseball at Simpson College in Iowa.
Now, he works as the Vice President of Operations for Concentric International, a wholesale agricultural, construction, lawn, and garden equipment company, per his LinkedIn.
Caitlin’s mom works in marketing.
The basketball star's mom, Ann Nizzi-Clark, works in strategic partnerships for CC22 Ventures, LLC, an early-stage investment platform. She has previously worked for Wells Fargo and Delta Dental of Iowa, per LinkedIn.
She has an older brother named Blake.
Caitlin has two brothers, and the three of them played a lot of basement basketball when they were growing up, per The Gazette.
Her older brother, Blake, 24, was the quarterback for Iowa State while he was in college, and also played basketball in high school, per the newspaper. He has said in interviews that sports were a huge deal in their house growing up.
“We were always involved in sports and at home, we were always around sports,” Blake shared with the Iowa newspaper. “We watched sports at night whether we would go to Drake and watch basketball games, or watch cousins play their basketball games or tournaments, when you’re just around something that much, it’s what you do, too.”
Brent added that his eldest son is a bit of an old soul.
“He just does a really good job of keeping things in perspective, I think he’s well thought of on the football team because of that,” Brent said. “He gets along well with every single socioeconomic student-athlete you have on the football team. As you know it ranges greatly in people’s backgrounds.”
Blake has also talked about his sister in the interview, saying that she’s a “very outgoing and confident” person.
“I think that’s apparent on the court, she plays with a lot of confidence,” he said. “There’s not a shot she doesn’t think she can take or make. And she just kind of plays with a swagger, she doesn’t care if she’s missing shots, she trusts that the next one’s going to go in.”
She also has a younger brother named Colin.
If Blake is an old soul, and Caitlin is an outgoing middle child, then the youngest Clark sibling, Colin, is a “quiet assassin,” his mother said, noting his fiery side. Colin also played basketball in high school and graduated in 2023.
“I think Blake and Caitlin are always watching him online and following him, too,” his mother shared with The Gazette. “That is probably even more special to watch, and take the time to come back and watch him and support him, and beat up on him a little bit, too. That part has been amazing.”
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