Top 5 Big Ten Women's Basketball Players of the Past 5 Years

Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger, Indiana Women's Basketball
Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger, Indiana Women's Basketball / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

For far too long, women's basketball has not received the type of recognition that the sport deserves. For decades, the game of basketball was constantly tethered to men. However, through the initiatives of Title IX, the NCAA has taken action in liberating the ladies. With the support of executives overseeing the affairs of collegiate athletics, females have slowly increased their "market share" in the basketball "industry".

The NCAA will assuredly sustain it's efforts in bridging the basketball gender gap, and it will only help that there are some seriously stupendous hoopers already competing at the collegiate level. As the active players continue to shatter records and make history in the present, it is also important to remember those that came before them whom may not have received the same type of spotlight that today's women are getting.

With those things in mind, it is time to honor some of the top female hoopers in recent memory. More specifically, here are the top 5 Big Ten women's basketball players of the past 5 seasons.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jacy Sheldon (Ohio State), Abby Meyers (Maryland), Veronica Burton (Northwestern), Shyanne Sellers (Maryland), Alexis Markowski (Nebraska)

5. Nia Clouden | Michigan State

After a monster individual 4-year tenure at MSU, Nia Clouden was selected by the Connecticut Sun with the 12th pick in the 2022 WNBA draft. She did not receive much court time in her rookie season with the Sun before the Los Angeles Sparks claimed her off waivers prior to the start of last season (which she also did not receive a ton of playing time in).

While it is undoubtedly taking Clouden some time to find her rhythm at the professional ranks, she is still only 23-years-old (24 in May) and has a ton of time to build on her skillset. She is just a few years removed from putting up career collegiate averages of 16.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.8 APG and 1.4 SPG.

4. Grace Berger | Indiana

After the beloved Hoosier turned in one of the all-time greatest careers in recent (or extended) cream and crimson history, the Indiana Fever made her employment relocation very easy for Grace Berger when they selected her with the 7th overall pick in the 2023 WNBA draft. The do-it-all guard was the quintessential extension of head coach Teri Moren whenever she was on the floor for the Hoosiers. Her rookie season with the Fever was not spectacular (14.6 MPG, 4.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, and 1.9 APG on 44.9% FG/47.1% 3!!!/84.0% FT in 36 games played), but she is a genuine breakout candidate looking ahead to the upcoming WNBA season.

3. Mackenzie Holmes | Indiana

Now Indiana's all-time leading scorer, Mackenzie Holmes has cemented herself on IU's cumulative mount rushmore. In spite of her nonstop dominance, she remains MIA from most (all) WNBA mock drafts.

Are we missing something?

2. Diamond Miller | Maryland

Miller looked steady in her rookie WNBA season with the Minnesota Lynx after being selected with the 2nd overall pick behind inevitable 2023 WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston. Her cool, calm, and collected demeanor was one of the things that made her such a highly touted pro prospect coming out of Maryland. Another was her leadership, as she led the Terrapins to the Elite Eight in 2021-2022 before advancing all the way to the Final Four in her 2022-2023 senior campaign.

Miller will not only forever go down as one of the best guards in Big Ten history, but in the history of women's college hoops. However, there is one other lady baller whom she (nor anyone for that matter) can compare.

1. Caitlin Clark | Iowa

Caitlin Clark is the greatest player in the history of NCAA women's basketball. Scratch that, Caitlin Clark is the greatest player in the history of NCAA basketball.