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WNBA star Caitlin Clark's exclusion from the women's national team at the 2024 Olympic Games has sparked disappointment among basketball fans across the country, though some told Fox News Digital they understand the choice.

"She's making more and more people watch WNBA, but at the same time though, she's still got some growing to do," said Fred in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Caitlin Clark passes the ball

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever is one of the top female basketball players in the country, but won't represent the United States in the 2024 Olympics. Many Americans Fox News Digital spoke with could see both sides of the women's national team's decision to pass on Clark. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

WHO IS CAITLIN CLARK? STATS, AWARDS, BROKEN RECORDS AND ENDORSEMENT DEALS OF THE INDIANA FEVER PLAYER

Clark was dominant while playing basketball for the Iowa Hawkeyes before becoming the first overall pick of the 2024 WNBA draft. Now she averages more than 16 points per game for the Indiana Fever, placing her 15th in the league but first among rookies.

Her professional debut was the most-watched WNBA game since 2001, drawing more than 2 million viewers. Yet she won't travel to Paris later this summer to represent Team USA in their quest for an unprecedented eighth consecutive gold medal.

"I think it's a disservice to the WNBA," Dawayne from Oklahoma City said. "She's a big name right now, and I think that they should capitalize on that by at least putting her on the team."

But Bora, from Queens, New York, disagreed, saying Clark's exclusion is "fine."

"She's a rookie," Bora said. "She'll have her moment later in her career."

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USA Basketball officials said the choice to leave Clark off the roster was based on her lack of experience compared to other players and that it wasn't a popularity contest.

"It would be irresponsible for us to talk about her in a way other than how she would impact the play of the team," selection committee chair Jen Rizzotti told The Associated Press. "Because it wasn’t the purview of our committee to decide how many people would watch or how many people would root for the U.S. It was our purview to create the best team we could for [coach] Cheryl [Reeve]."

Eliza from Washington, D.C., suspected there may be a double standard at play.

"If there was a young guy who had the attention that she has had … I don't think there would have been a question," Eliza told Fox News Digital in New York City. "He just would have been on the team."

Paris olympics

Thousands of athletes from around the world will travel to Paris next month to compete in the 2024 Olympics. (Michel Euler/AP Photo)

FRANCE FILES PRELIMINARY TERRORISM CHARGES AGAINST TEENAGER ACCUSED OF PLAN TO ATTACK OLYMPIC FANS

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, basketball fan Quinn said it would have been "super cool" to see Clark on the team.

"As an Iowa fan, I would have been tuning in more to the Olympic Games," he said.

"You want the best players in the country to represent the country, and she is one of the best players," Jon from Michigan told Fox News while visiting Washington, D.C.

Jan, also from Michigan, said she appreciated Clark's humility after the Olympics announcement. The 22-year-old WNBA star told reporters she felt "no disappointment" and that it gives her "something to work for." 

"I thought it was very cool that she felt that it was a goal now to earn an opportunity to be on the team with all these amazing players," Jan said.

The team includes veteran players like Diana Taurasi, whose Olympic career began in 2004 when she was the same age Clark is now. Brittney Griner and several other players who competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are also returning for the Paris Games.

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In Knoxville, Hayden said he was "pretty upset" to see Clark snubbed, especially after rumors that she could join Steph Curry and Sabrina Lonescu next year in their three-point shootout.

"She's such a hot star right now in the WNBA … and I just want to see her succeed," the University of Tennessee student said. "Maybe in the next four years we'll have Caitlin Clark on the next Olympic team."

Alba Cuebas-Fantauzzi reported from Knoxville, Tennessee; Megan Myers reported from Washington, D.C.,; Nikolas Lanum reported from New York City; and Kira Mautone reported from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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