Kittle and his wife, Claire, a former Hawkeyes basketball player, met Clark during March Madness

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San Francisco 49ers star tight end George Kittle is still an Iowa Hawkeye at heart. That’s easy to see when he’s attending events in his spare time at the university. And that includes women’s basketball last season, during Caitlin Clark’s final year in the black and yellow.

Kittle and his wife, Claire, a former Hawkeyes basketball player, met while they were at school together. So, whenever there’s a chance to get back to Iowa City, they make the time.

They did so during the second round of March Madness, when No. 1 Iowa hosted No. 8 West Virgina at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It’s there where the Kittles got to experience the madness Clark and her teammates brought to the building. And they met the eventual No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft.

George Kittle takes picture with Iowa fan

Tight end George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers takes a photo with fans before a game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the West Virginia Mountaineers during the 2024 NCAA Women’s Tournament at Carver-Hawkeye Arena March 25, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

“She’s incredibly personable. She’s charismatic. She’s just so authentic,” Kittle told Fox News Digital while discussing his new ad with Fast Twitch. “She doesn’t fake anything. She’s very interested in everything you’re talking about. She’s great to have a conversation with. You can tell how much she loves her teammates.”

Kittle was enjoying time with Iowa fans who spotted him in the crowd during the game, but after Clark dropped the 32 points to help the Hawkeyes advance, he was able to meet the women’s basketball sensation.

It was in Iowa’s training room where he witnessed that authentic character he spoke of.

“We were hanging out in the training room after the game just to get away from the crowd a little bit,” he recalled. “She comes in, hugs all the athletic trainers, talks to everybody, talks to us a little bit, and you just see how much people care for her. She has this incredible reputation that she’s built day in and day out. So, she’s done that and just so excited for her.”

Kittle was also able to see the different sides to Clark — the competitor on the court and the humble person off it.


“You see how she is on the court. She has this competitiveness. She’s got this fire in her,” he said. “But as soon as she gets off the court, there’s this flip of the switch. She’s just Caitlin Clark. To be able to go back and forth between all that, you have to be very good to be able to do that, and she does that flawlessly.

“It’s a spectacle [to watch her play] and [I’m] just happy for her success.”

Caitlin Clark poses with jersey

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever poses for a photo with Lin Dunn and Christie Sides during her introductory press conference April 17, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

As expected, Clark was selected first overall by the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, where her presence has already led to an increase in season ticket and jersey purchases. Kittle understands the hype.

“With Indiana, the amount of Iowa fans who are going to travel to see her play, it’s going to be a sold-out stadium every time they play. It’s really fun to be able to follow her and her incredible journey,” he said.

Kittle added that his household will “pretty much” be Fever fans.

“I think I have to say yes,” he said. Though he pointed to the prospect of a WNBA team for Golden State heading to the Bay Area soon, which he will also support considering he plays there.

And though he was wearing his wife’s No. 3 jersey when he was spotted in March, he’ll be adding a Fever jersey to his collection soon.

Caitlin Clark and George Kittle

San Francisco 49ers star George Kittle, a former Iowa Hawkeye, recalled the “authentic” interaction he had with Caitlin Clark (Getty Images)