At the 2024 WNBA Draft, Caitlin Clark cemented her growing legend. The 22-year-old hotshot is a first in several ways, including her painfully crisp Prada outfit.

Clark, whose tenure at the Iowa Hawkeyes earned her platitudes as possibly the greatest WNBA player of all time — and she hasn't yet even hit the hardwood as a pro! — was the number one draft pick for the Indiana Fever. Swoosh, as they say.

But no less importantly, Clark is the first person to be dressed by Prada for a professional basketball draft — NBA, WNBA, anything.

Obviously, folks have worn Prada to the draft because everyone has worn every luxury label to one draft or another but that Clark became an impromptu Prada ambassador is indicative of a bigger picture.

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It's proof of Clark's influence, for one, further demonstrated when her new Fever jersey sold out almost instantly.

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Not to undersell the importance of her WNBA peers, of course — fresh-faced Chicago Sky signee Angel Reese is a fashion frontrunner in the making — but Clark went from a surprise SNL appearance to making Prada history. Now that's a alley-oop (I don't know basketball terms).

Clark has generated so much steam that even the mere rumor that the burgeoning star was working with a luxury label was itself newsworthy.

But part of the weight, unfortunately, comes from the plain truth that the NBA and WNBA have historically received unequal attention.

The leagues' entrenched inequality has been thoroughly unpacked by both objective analysis and on-court pundits but, at the core of it all, the WNBA has historically and undeservingly languished while the NBA received the lion's share of press, publicity, and deep-pocketed support.

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The NBA has a half-century head-start, as some point out, but there's also an institutional indifference at play.

"The revenue the WNBA is bringing in is comparable to what the NBA was bringing in the early 70s," former NCAA track champ and Arizona State University professor Victoria Jackson told her local ABC affiliate in 2023.

"[Back then it was like] 'This sport is on the up and up [so] let's pour money into it because we know we are going to have a lot of returns on that investment.' And we are not seeing that in the case of women's sports."

Consider that Clark's Prada outfit, estimated to be worth around $17,000, costs about 22 percent of her current salary.

These are literally Olympic athletes, remember.

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Which is why it matters that luxury labels showed out for the 2024 WNBA draft.

The public support that brands like Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Bronx and Banco offered to the WNBA athletes who wore their clothes to the 2024 draft reflects a bellwether moment for the WNBA, which has long lead the NBA in social mores like inclusivity. About time that its opulent cosigns followed suit.

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