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Why are people comparing Caitlin Clark to Steph Curry?

The Iowa guard's electric shooting style and record-setting performance is reminiscent of the Golden State Warriors All-Star.

When Caitlin Clark splashed in a 3-pointer from nearly half court to set the NCAA women's scoring record in February, it looked awfully familiar.

That shot — put up from well behind the 3-point line and closer, in fact, to the team logos that embellish center court — has become a staple of the dazzling shooting of NBA All-Star Steph Curry.

The Golden State Warriors guard and future Hall of Famer has revolutionized basketball with his deep shooting range and rapid-fire release.

Clark, who is closing in on the NCAA record for the most points by any male or female player, has drawn comparisons to Curry and memories of his college days with her own electrifying performance.

NBC Sports radio host Dan Patrick called Clark "the female Steph Curry" after she broke the NCAA women's scoring record.

Here's why Curry's name keeps coming up when people marvel at Clark's record-setting run.

Caitlin Clark and Steph Curry both have incredible shooting range

Curry helped revolutionize basketball with his ability to routinely hit 3-pointers from well behind the 3-point line, which is 23 feet, 9 inches away from the basket in the NBA. He regularly makes 30-foot shots.

“When you watch them play, she just adds the element of surprise that you can’t really game-plan for."

Steph Curry on Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes

His game has inspired a generation of long-range shooters, including Clark. She was 13 years old when Curry led the Warriors to the first of four NBA titles in 2015 and was named the league's Most Valuable Player.

“You can pick anybody that she talks about in terms of being an inspiration, if she picks something from our game, or models something from our game, I don’t ever take that for granted,” Curry told reporters about Clark ahead of this year's NBA All-Star Game, according to The Indianapolis Star.

Both players have changed the idea of what is a good shot and what is a bad shot. Traditionally, launching one from just over half court would have an exasperated coach ready to bench a player. For Clark and Curry, those shots are perfectly acceptable because they make them at a high rate.

“No shot is a bad shot when you can shoot it as well as she can,” Curry told ESPN. “When you watch them play, she just adds the element of surprise that you can’t really game-plan for. Because it’s so unseen in the sense of when she crosses half court, she’s in her range.”

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry has inspired a generation of long-range 3-point shooters in men's and women's basketball. Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

Along with players like the Milwaukee Bucks' Damian Lillard and New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu, they have made a "logo 3" a common basketball term.

It refers to shooting a 3-pointer from the area where team logos are painted on most courts. That impressive range forces defenses to extend farther from the basket and gets crowds into a frenzy when the shots go in.

Clark hit one for the record-setting basket on Feb. 15 that made her the NCAA women's all-time leading scorer. The Hawkeyes went on to beat Michigan, 106-89.

"You all know I was going to shoot a logo 3 for the record, come on now," Clark joked to reporters after the game.

“Logo 3s deflate the opponent because there’s no real defense for it,” Curry told ESPN. “You either have to sell out and try to take it away, and she’s capable enough to blow right by you and drive. Especially at home, and even on the road, it gets the crowd into it because it’s something they don’t see that often.”

Clark also has a lightning-quick release like Curry, who can get a shot off with only inches between him and a defender. They both are also skilled playmakers with excellent ball-handling and passing skills, so they are much more than just long-range shooters.

Their games also bear a physical resemblance. Curry is short by NBA standards, at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, while Clark is listed as 6-foot and 155 pounds.

Clark and Curry both took their college programs to new heights

Coming out of high school, Curry was a skinny point guard rated by most services as a three-star prospect (out of five) even though he was the son of a longtime NBA player, former guard Dell Curry.

He has said in multiple interviews that he wanted to play at Duke or his father's alma mater, Virginia Tech, but did not get scholarship offers from either program. Curry landed at tiny Davidson College, a mid-major program in North Carolina with only around 1,900 students.

Curry exploded into national stardom during his career at Davidson College.Charlotte Observer / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

He went from an unknown to a national star during his time at Davidson. In 2008, he led the program to its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1969 with a 40-point eruption against Gonzaga.

That year, Curry had four straight games of 30 or more points as the Wildcats went all the way to the Elite Eight and became one of the biggest stories of the tournament. One season later, he led the NCAA in scoring at 28.6 points per game before entering the NBA Draft.

Unlike Curry, Clark was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and ranked as one of the top five players in the country in the class of 2020. However, she turned down more well-established programs to stay in her home state of Iowa.

She has since led the Hawkeyes to their best stretch in program history. Last season, they made the NCAA championship game for the first time and reached the Final Four for the first time since 1993, only the second Final Four in program history.

LSU v Iowa
Clark has taken her home state Iowa program to unprecedented success.Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Clark has brought unprecedented interest to Iowa's program and women's basketball.

The tickets for the Feb. 15 game against Michigan where she broke the women's scoring record skyrocketed to an average of $394, at the time the most expensive for any women's game, college or professional, in history, according to secondary market seller TickPick.

Tickets to Sunday's game against Ohio State, where she's expected to break Pete Maravich's all-time men's scoring record, were selling for an average of $546, a new record for a woman's game, The Athletic reported.

In 2023, Iowa set the record for the most people in attendance at a women's basketball game when they played before 55,646 fans in an exhibition game at Iowa's football stadium. Clark had 34 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the game.

Clark and Curry are both record-breakers

Stephen Curry, Caitlin Clark
“No shot is a bad shot when you can shoot it as well as she can,” Curry said of Clark. Getty Images

Clark enters Iowa's game on March 3 against Ohio State just 18 points shy of beating the all-time NCAA scoring record set by LSU legend Maravich 54 years ago.

She already passed Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum for the NCAA women's scoring record and then passed former Kansas great Lynette Woodard for the collegiate women's scoring record. Clark also has become the Big Ten Conference's all-time leader in 3-pointers made.

The Hawkeyes star also set the women's record for the most points in the NCAA Tournament last season with 191 in six games.

Curry has the NCAA men's record for the most 3-pointers made in a season with 162 set during the 2007-08 season.

In the NBA, Curry has the record for career 3-pointers, single-season 3-pointers and highest career free throw percentage.

Just about any record involving 3-pointers in the NBA has been set by Curry other than the most in one game (14), which belongs to his Warriors teammate, Klay Thompson.