WNBA teams give rookies Caitlin Clark, Nika Mühl special graduation ceremonies

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever headlines arguably the most anticipated class of rookies in WNBA history, a group that also includes former UConn standout Nika Mühl, now playing for the Seattle Storm.

Both Clark, who was picked first overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft after a record-breaking college career at Iowa, and Mühl, who was picked 13 picks later after becoming the next program standout in UConn’s storied history, missed their respective college graduations due to their participation in the WNBA preseason.

It was a bittersweet moment for both players, who have both publicly expressed love and admiration for their colleges.

But both the Fever and the Storm made sure to honor their new graduates with special tributes of their own.

The Storm threw Mühl a full-fledged surprise graduation ceremony on Friday in an emotional moment for their rookie guard, with “chancellor” Noelle Quinn — the Storm’s head coach — presenting Mühl with her diploma in front of her family and teammates. Mühl initially thought she was just posing for team pictures in graduation regalia before being led out to her surprise.

Clark’s ceremony was a bit more informal, but still a surprise, as teammate Aliyah Boston presented her with her certificate of graduation from Iowa before Sunday’s practice.

Clark and Mühl both begin their professional careers in earnest when the 2024 WNBA regular season tips off on Tuesday. Mühl and the Storm host the Minnesota Lynx in Seattle while Clark and the Fever face the Connecticut Sun on the road — in a game the Sun announced Monday has been sold out.

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Women’s National Basketball Association

Caitlin Clark

Nika Muhl

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