Party on the Pentacrest celebrates historic team and grateful fans

Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 10:49 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - It was an unforgettable end to a historic season.

Lisa Bluder stepped off the bus, witnessed a crowd of thousands, and got emotional.

“I got off the bus and I had tears in my eyes again. I have shed a lot of tears of joy this month,” said Bluder. “We obviously wish we could have brought the championship home to you, but honestly, it’s easy to be number one and I’m proud of the way my women were number two.”

Caitlin Clark took the mic and immediately brought the energy, asking her teammates to share their favorite memories.

“My favorite memory was when Caitlin Clark hit the game-winner against Indiana in front of a sold-out crowd!” Kate Martin exclaimed.

“Since I’m from Ohio, I would say when we smacked Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game!” Gabbie Marshall yelled.

The Hawkeye fans showed up hours before the celebration was slated to start. They showed up for a team that they say brought the state together.

“Me being a person that’s growing into an empowered woman it means a lot to watch these women as such great role models and people,” said Iowa fan Haley Bell. “Just the whole state to come together and the whole nation too.”

The Hawkeye women attracted everyone, from season ticket holders to casual fans who became diehards.

“Caitlin Clark! I love her!” said UI sophomore Katelyn Rodenburg. “I wanna be her.”

The biggest announcement was made by Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague. The mayor proclaimed April 14th, 2023 to be Iowa Women’s Basketball Team Day.”

“People around the world will now know where Iowa City is,” Teague said. “Super excited for the women and can’t wait for the next season. It’s gonna blow our minds.”