Iowa’s Caitlin Clark was just as surprised as the rest of the world when it was reported earlier this week that she was offered a multi-million dollar contract to play in a men’s league this summer.

TMZ reported Wednesday that the BIG3 has offered Clark $5 million to play this season, but in a press conference Friday, Clark revealed she was unaware of the offer prior to the report. In February, Clark declared for next month’s 2024 WNBA draft and is the presumed No. 1 overall pick.

“I found out about the Big3 thing the same exact time you all did,” Clark said, per ESPN. “I honestly don’t talk about those things with really anybody. I have other people that deal with it, and they haven’t said a word to me about it. My main focus is on this team and helping us find a way to beat Colorado and hopefully win another one after that.”

On Wednesday, BIG3 founder Ice Cube confirmed TMZ’s report on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

“We intended the offer to remain private while Caitlin Clark plays for the championship. But I won’t deny what’s now already out there: BIG3 made a historic offer to Caitlin Clark. Why wouldn’t we? Caitlin is a generational athlete who can achieve tremendous success in the BIG3,” Ice Cube wrote on X.

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What is the BIG3?

BIG3 is a traveling professional 3-on-3 basketball league. It was founded in 2017 by Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, according to the league’s website.

The league’s 12 teams will play for 10 weeks this summer, making stops in 10 different cities across the U.S.

Clark would be the first woman to play in the BIG3, but not the first woman involved with the league.

Women’s basketball legends Nancy Lieberman and Lisa Leslie are BIG3 championship-winning coaches.

“The skeptics laughed when we made Nancy Lieberman the first female coach of a men’s pro team, and she won the championship in her first year. Then Lisa Leslie won it all in year two. With our offer, Caitlin Clark can make history and break down even more barriers for women athletes,” Ice Cube said.

Ice Cube sees the BIG3 as a viable option for WNBA players in the offseason — as an alternative to playing abroad — and even as an alternative to joining the WNBA in the first place.

“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 wrote. “And they should have more than just one professional option in the US 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 that BIG3 now offers another choice for athletes.”

The BIG3 would allow Clark to play in the WNBA, too, according to TMZ. But there would be some scheduling conflicts.

The BIG3 and WNBA’s seasons overlap for two games, and there are the likely concerns of Clark getting injured while playing in the BIG3, which could delay her WNBA debut.

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Who is the highest-paid WNBA player?

In the BIG3, Clark would be paid $5 million for just eight games — 10 if her team makes the playoffs — an astronomically higher per game average than the WNBA’s highest-paid players.

This season, veterans Arike Ogunbowale, Kahleah Copper and Jewell Loyd will be the highest-paid players in the WNBA. They each have a cap hit of $241,984, according to Spotrac.

The BIG3 contract would pay Clark more than the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, Diana Taurasi ($234,936), and two of the women Clark passed this season to become the NCAA Division I women’s basketball all-time leading scorer: Kelsey Mitchell ($212,000) and two-time WNBA champion Kelsey Plum ($200,000).

How much would Caitlin Clark make as a rookie in the WNBA?

As the presumed No. 1 overall pick, Clark has an expected base salary of $76,000 for her rookie season, according to USA Today.

If Clark accepts the BIG3′s offer and only plays in eight games, she’d be paid $625,000 per game, compared to the $1,900 per game she’d make if she plays in all 40 of her WNBA team’s games this season.

But those salaries don’t include sponsorships.

Clark has an estimated $3.1 million NIL valuation — making her the fourth-highest earner in college sports — Business Insider reported. Those deals will likely follow Clark when she turns pro.

Up next for Clark and the Hawkeyes is a Sweet Sixteen matchup against Colorado on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. MDT.