Here's Why Caitlin Clark Won't Be Selected for Team USA 3x3 Team

The Indiana Fever rookie may very well end up heading to Paris, but not for the 3x3 event.
Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) yells to the referee Thursday, June 13, 2024, during the game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) yells to the referee Thursday, June 13, 2024, during the game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. / Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY

Los Angeles Sparks rookie Cameron Brink tore her ACL earlier this week, a devastating blow for the young forward in every regard. Brink was in the early days of a rock solid debut season in the WNBA and her year was only going to get better with the upcoming Paris Olympics, as she was selected to the Team USA 3x3 roster earlier this summer.

With Brinks going down, that spot for the 3x3 event must be filled. And after all the outcry surrounding Caitlin Clark's perceived snub from the Team USA women's five-on-five roster, there are many wondering aloud if the standout guard might be the injury replacement for Brink.

Positionally it obviously makes no sense, as Brink plays on the block and protects the paint while Clark is the maestro of the offense who sinks 30-foot jumpers with regularity. But, the argument goes, Clark should be in Paris no matter what and everything else will figure itself out.

Unfortunately for those who believe as much, it does not matter. Clark is not eligible to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics 3x3 tournament.

How can this be? Well, as it turns out, any old basketball player cannot just be selected for the 3x3 Olympics team, no matter how skilled they are.

Per the rules laid out by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), a player only qualifies for the 3x3 event if they have the "minimum number of ranking points." Ranking points are accumulated by participating in FIBA-approved 3x3 tournaments in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.

For example, Brink qualified to play because she participated in the FIBA 3x3 Women's World Cup in 2023. By playing (and winning), she earned enough ranking points to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. As Team USA searches for her replacement, they must look to those who have also earned ranking points, such as Brink's teammate Dearica Hamby.

Thus, Clark is not on the shortlist to replace Brink or anybody else who might not be able to play in the Paris Olympics 3x3 tournament.

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Liam McKeone


Liam McKeone is a senior writer for the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in May 2024, McKeone worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, he is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books and video games. McKeone has been a member of the National Sports Media Association since 2020.