Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark can grow their game without ‘help’ from Ice Cube

By greatbritton

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Iowa star Caitlin Clark got her revenge on LSU star Angel Reese, surely enthralling goo-gobs of white folks who viewed Monday’s Elite Eight matchup through a racial lens. I certainly understand their glee in watching Reese get her comeuppance for taunting Clark in last year’s NCAA championship game. 

Clark is their darling, the biggest star in women’s college basketball, which currently is far hotter than the men’s version. ESPN reports that Iowa’s 94-87 victory drew 12.3 million viewers, the most ever in women’s college hoops. Last year’s tilt set the previous record, 9.9 million viewers when Reese pointed to an imaginary ring and waved “you-can’t-see-me” as Iowa lost the title game.

Resse was demonized and caricatured afterward, becoming a target for anti-Black sentiment from haters of every stripe. Meanwhile, Clark continued her path as America’s sweetheart and a national phenom, setting numerous records on the court and at the box office. 

The two stars couldn’t be any different in many ways. But they’re identical in their competitive nature and commitment to the booming sport.  

“I’ll take the villain role,” Reese said Monday before Clark justified the hype by dropping 41 points. “I’ll take the hit for it, but I know we’re growing women’s basketball. If this is the way we’re going to do it, then this is the way we’re going to do it.”

They don’t need “help” from hip-hop mogul Ice Cube. 

His 3-on-3 basketball league has offered Clark $5 million to play in the upcoming season, pitching the bid as pro-woman when it’s really more pro-Ice Cube. “BIG3 made a historic offer to Caitlin Clark,” he tweeted last week. “Why wouldn’t we? Caitlin Clark is a generational athlete who can achieve tremendous success in the BIG3.”

Clark has declared for the WNBA draft and is expected to be the No.1 pick, followed in some order by Stanford’s Cameron Brink, Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson and South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso. (Reese declared for the draft on Wednesday, though she should’ve gone back to school and worked on her game because her pro prospects are hazy.) 

But Ice Cube made an offer to Clark alone, despite feigning concern for her less-famous and well-off peers.

“America’s women athletes should not be forced to spend their off seasons playing in often dismal and dubious foreign countries just to make ends meet,”  he tweeted. “And they should have more than just one professional option in the U.S. at a time when American pro sports leagues are being infiltrated by autocratic, anti-women regimes such as Qatar. Our pathbreaking offer to Caitlin Clark demonstrates the BIG3 now offers another choice for athletes.”  

No, the offer demonstrates his desire to promote the BIG3 at the WNBA’s expense. 

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Clark won’t have a problem making ends meet without going abroad. She rakes an estimated $3.2 million in name, image and likeness (NIL) deals, including deals with Gatorade, State Farm, Nike and Xfinity. As the presumptive No.1 pick, her portfolio should grow. Reese doesn’t rank as high at the next level, but she’s done fine at the bank; her estimated $1.8 million from NIL makes her the only Black female in the top 10.

The duo’s fans and followers will stay along for the ride after Clark and Reese are drafted, bringing more eyeballs to the WNBA. Ice Cube rightly figures that Clark’s magnetic pull could shine a light on the BIG3, which arguably competes against the WNBA for viewers. He already told us what he thinks about professional women’s basketball, at least judging by the WNBA’s season, which runs from mid-May to the fall.

“I’m trying to make sure people understand that the league is here for our summer entertainment because summer sports are boring,” Ice Cube told Panama Jackson last year on “Dear Culture.” 

Ice Cube went on a media tour complaining that the NBA was trying to kill the BIG3. He accused the Association of pressuring media outlets and corporate sponsors to steer clear of the BIG3, though his league posed no threat. It was an offseason blast to the NBA past, with former players on the court and legends like Julius Irving, George Gervin and Gary Payton as coaches. 

What else is a basketball fan to watch between the NBA Finals and football season?  The NBA nominates the league it co-owns, the WNBA. Ice Cube thinks his idea is more interesting.

How about the spectacle of Clark versus some grown-ass men!

I suppose the BIG3 would get record ratings for its broadcasts on CBS and Paramount.  

But that’s not why Ice Cube made the offer.

Deron Snyder, from Brooklyn, is an award-winning columnist who lives near D.C. and pledged Alpha at HU-You Know! He’s reaching high, lying low, moving on, pushing off, keeping up, and throwing down. Got it? Get more at

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