Minnesota Lynx

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Local prep star returns as WNBA player

 

 

TAYLER HILL was back where her storied high school career as a guard for Minneapolis South ended in style four years ago. Only this time, the 2009 McDonald’s All-American and Miss Basketball came back to the Target Center as a member of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, who were in town to play the Minnesota Lynx. Hill, who was the fourth pick of the WNBA draft after an outstanding career at Ohio State University, had a host of family and friends present. These included father PAUL, who starred at South as a guard in the 1980s, brother PJ who played at Minneapolis North and was a point guard at OSU, and sister TANYSHA SCOTT who starred at DeLaSalle and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Hill scored one point in seven minutes of play in the Mystics’ 79-75 win. Continue Reading →

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A few WNBA All-Star firsts

 

 

 

UNCASVILLE, CONN. — “Her-stories” were aplenty here last Saturday at the 2013 WNBA All-Star Game. “I think it is very reflective of the 17th season of the WNBA,” said League President Laurel Richie. “We have a wonderful mix of rookies and first-timers but also many of our veterans coming back.”

 

Her first 

After a couple of near opportunities that for one reason or another didn’t materialize, Shelley Patterson was finally a West All-Star assistant coach. “It’s taken me a long time,” admitted the Minnesota Lynx’s only Black assistant coach. Continue Reading →

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Devoted Lynx fan honored — Might this suggest the team is finally acknowledging its Black fan base?

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

She’s seen it all — the team’s first-ever victory in 1999, the endless roster changes, the hiring of two Black female head coaches, a rookie-of-the-year winner and sixth woman winner, and a league-record four all-stars two seasons ago. She also took part in the area’s first championship season since 1991. Debbie Montgomery is no bandwagon Lynx fan . She has been with them through all the downs and the ups. It seems only fitting, then, that the Minnesota Lynx organization honor her, which they did during last Saturday’s 15th season opener at their downtown arena. Continue Reading →

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WNBA season preview

 

 

 

The 2013 WNBA season opened last weekend in Dickensian fashion — great expectations. “I think this is the most anticipated season for me,” proclaims ESPN analyst and former WNBA coach/general manager Carolyn Peck. SB Nation’s Nate Parham analyzed each W club, in 25 words or less, by conference, beginning with the East:

[New coach Mike Thibault] “will make a huge difference” in Washington, but unresolved ball-handling issues may prove too much. Atlanta still is Angel McCoughtry’s team, but point guard might be a problem. This year’s second overall pick, Elena Delle Donne, will help Chicago, but can the Sky overcome the early absence of star guard Epiphanny Prince, who contractually must play in Russia in June? Continue Reading →

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2013 W draft: a ‘huge buzz’ and no surprises

 

 

 

The Big 3 draft” was no surprise. Through the days and weeks, if not the last few years, leading up to Monday’s WNBA draft, top picks Britney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne were a three-headed Carly Simon anticipation trio of college stars that the league hadn’t seen before. The picks played out as expected. It was essentially two drafts in one. The game-changers went first:

The 6’-8 Griner, “an impact player,” was picked first by Phoenix. Continue Reading →

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Recovery from an ACL injury is quicker now, but still challenging

 

Modern medicine has improved so much in recent years that an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury these days isn’t career-ending for an athlete, but rather a temporary setback. Historically, “People were really stiff coming out of surgery,” notes orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joel Boyd. “Then the surgical knee was immobilized in a cast, and then began rehab. It would take people a year to come back.”

Boyd, the team physician for the Minnesota Vikings, Wild and Lynx, points out that “accelerated rehab” now is the norm rather than the exception for most athletes. Nonetheless, the doctor says that there’s no substitute for hard work during rehabilitation if the person really wants to get back to action. Continue Reading →

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W’s goin’ through them changes

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

The WNBA last week did a Buddy Miles “Them Changes” and announced several new moves for the upcoming season.  

W draft in prime time 

After years of having their annual draft shown during daytime soap opera hours, the 2013 WNBA Draft will be shown for the first time next spring in prime time. ESPN2 will show the first round at 7 pm Central time on Monday, April 15. The second and third rounds then will be shown on ESPNU. Both league and network officials cite the historic change due to an anticipated star-studded first round that is expected to include Baylor center Brittney Griner and Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins. Continue Reading →

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Athletes encourage youth to stay active, healthy

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Around 100 local boys and girls worked with WNBA stars October 15 on staying active and living healthy. The five Minnesota Lynx starters — Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Taj McWilliams-Franklin — along with WNBA Legend Teresa Edwards worked with Southside Family Charter School students on basketball fundamentals at the WNBA FIT Dribble to Stop Diabetes clinic on the team’s home court. “It warms my heart, and it says a lot of the character of the women,” Edwards noted of the five Lynx players whom she beforehand introduced individually to the students. Each of them had played a game the night before but spent part of their off-day with the kids. “Having the young kids here and being able to interact with them” was important for the Lynx players, added McWilliams-Franklin. Continue Reading →

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Out-coached Lynx settle for runners-up

 

To win one championship is magical, but it takes more to repeat. I watched Houston win four consecutive WNBA Finals, still a league record, and interviewed each of their Big Three: Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson, as well as their Hall of Fame coach Van Chancellor. Borrowing from former U.S. Senator and once vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, I must say, “Minnesota, you’re no Houston.”

That was a dynasty. Winning two in three years by Los Angeles, and later the same for the Detroit-now-Tulsa Shock, are certifiable dynasties. But for those who foolishly compared the Lynx to the now-defunct Comets, winning one title only makes you a faux-dynasty. Continue Reading →

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Report urges more positive LGBT stories in Black media

 
Conclusion of a two-part story
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

LGBT people of color often are seen as “double-outsiders” in their respective communities, says the Opportunity Agenda report on LGBT issues and race released in September. The report, “Public Opinion and Discourse on the Intersection of LGBT Issues and Race,” examined current public opinion and how ethnic and new media play a role in both perpetuating and challenging myths and biases about LGBT people. It defined “double-outsider” as a Black LGBT or LBGT person of color being marginalized “both from the mainstream and their respective community because of their race and their sexual identity.”

Jessica Adair and Amber Harris both told the MSR that they never heard of such terminology before, but do admit they are perceived differently. “You got two strikes against you — you’re Black and you’re gay,” admits Adair. Both women, who are professional basketball players, say they often hear “all female athletes are lesbians” talk. “I ignore it,” says Harris. Continue Reading →

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