The Phoenix Mercury forward recalled the adjustments she had to make in her rookie year.

aitlin Clark is a sporting and advertising phenomenon.

The arrival of the former Iowa Hawkeye to the Indiana Fever has sparked all kinds of reactions among the media, fans, and players. Among the latter, veteran Brittney Griner issued a stern warning to the rookie: Professional basketball is a different world.

In an interview with People magazine for the recent release of her book “Coming Home,” Griner admitted that the arrival of the 2024 draft class will be a turning poing for the WNBA. “The hype that Caitlin and some others have right now is amazing for the league. There’s good talent coming in,” Griner accepted

The Phoenix Mercury forward recalled that her arrival to the WNBA 10 years ago, as the first overall selection in the 2013 Draft, was very complicated for her. Although Griner was called a “generational” talent, like Clark, she had to make serious adjustments to her game to adapt to professional basketball.

Brittney Griner (L) and Caitlin Clark were the top picks in their...

“It’s different when you come from college to the pros. I went from top dog to my numbers going down a bit,” Griner recalled. The star forward went from averaging 22.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game with the Baylor Lady Bears to 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and one assist with the Mercury.

Clark will face tougher competition

Griner recalled that her first season as a professional was an “eye-opener” and warned Clark that the competition would be very different from what she faced in college. “You’re going up against grown women. This is how they feed their families. This is not just for the love of the [game]. This is their livelihood,” the player explained.

She recalled when she arrived on the WNBA hardwood, “I had to get stronger, lock in a little more. There will be some growing [pains] for her, but she’ll be fine.”

Despite her respect for Clark, Griner admitted that she was not a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, especially when they reached the finals of the NCAA Tournament, where they faced the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Griner and coach Dawn Staley

The Mercury forward is an old friend of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley. Griner worked under Staley on Team USA, and the coach was one of her biggest supporters during her imprisonment in Russia.

“I saw [Staley] at the Final Four, right before the National Championship. I told her, ‘Go get it. That’s yours,'” Griner recalled. “I just knew South Carolina was going to win,” said the forward.