Alex Morgan brings Caitlin Clark jersey to USWNT camp, lauds growth of women’s basketball

ATLANTA, Georgia — Don’t worry, Alex Morgan remembered to pack her Caitlin Clark jersey. 

And she’ll be wearing it Friday night as the United States women’s national team has a little watch party for the Women’s Final Four.

“I asked Nike for it a long time ago,” said Morgan, who donned it recently ahead of one of her club matches for the San Diego Wave. “They came through.”

The USWNT is currently in camp preparing for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup. The squad plays Japan on Saturday in Atlanta in the tournament semifinal, and will face either Canada or Brazil in the final or third-place match on Tuesday in Columbus.

While the team gets ready for these important games with an eye toward this summer’s Paris Olympics, it will make sure to tune into both semifinals: the first between undefeated South Carolina and N.C. State, which tips off at 7 p.m. ET, and then the second between Iowa and UConn, which will immediately follow.

What’s been happening this season with the explosion of women’s basketball specifically is not lost on the USWNT, a team that’s been a leader in raising up women, women’s sports and female athletes for decades. Clark has transformed her sport in a way nobody has while transfixing a new fan base. She’s sold out arenas, appeared in TV commercials and everybody — including Morgan — wants to wear her jersey.

While starring for the USWNT for years, Morgan has always kept a keen eye on women in other sports. She’s posted about Clark and Iowa a few times this season. She founded the women’s lifestyle, sport and culture company, TOGETHXR, alongside Sue Bird, Simone Manuel and Chloe Kim. She knows when big events or moments are happening in other women’s sports and posts about them to her 10 million Instagram followers. She also brings her almost-4-year-old daughter Charlie to as many of her club and USWNT games as possible. Morgan told FOX Sports ahead of last summer’s World Cup that she wants to expose Charlie to “some of the greatest athletes and some of the most confident women.” 

In talking about the Women’s Final Four, Morgan mentioned Friday that “it’s so cool to see them getting the recognition that they deserve during this tournament, March Madness. It’s silly that even a couple years ago the women’s tournament couldn’t even use that term.” The NCAA started using the phrasing and branding of March Madness in conjunction with the women’s tournament in 2022.

“Now it’s become such a big event,” Morgan continued. “Obviously, the last game [the Elite Eight matchup between Iowa and LSU] was the most watched game, breaking a bunch of records [for] men and women.”

[Related: UConn-Iowa will be most-bet Women’s game ever: ‘will eclipse handle records’]

USWNT interim head coach Twila Kilgore lit up when asked about the way women’s basketball has swept the country off its feet this season. She lamented that it’s been “disappointing” that she hasn’t had so much time to tune in due to her current workload, but said, “it’s just so exciting to see a level of competition that’s out there, the variety of types of exciting and entertaining players there are, the amount of media attention that is on women’s basketball at the moment. I hope we continue to see that and continue to see that across women’s sports.

“And it is funny,” Kilgore added, “when I might be working on film or something like that and hear a roar from another room and understand that they’re watching other women play sports.” 

While the USWNT is focused on winning another tournament against stiff competition — SheBelieves Cup participants Japan, Canada and Brazil and the U.S. have all qualified for the 2024 Olympics — the players carve out time to support their peers from afar.

“It’s really cool to see that, and obviously a lot of these players are gonna have a great, long career internationally and represent their country as well,” Morgan said. “So it gives us a little excitement while we’re in camp to be able to watch those games.”

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of “Strong Like a Woman,” published in spring 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her at @LakenLitman.

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