After watching the Minnesota Lynx capture their fourth WNBA championship this decade —winning their previous three in 2011, ’13 and ’15 — former girls basketball prep stars Tamara Moore, Carolyn Blair-Mobley, Rikiee Ellis, Tyrai Ross, and Dee Buford as well as former Golden Gophers player Crystal Flint, and current prep player Taylor-Tidwell, had nothing but positive things to say about the team’s accomplishment.
Tamara Moore — High School: Minneapolis North, College: University of Wisconsin, WNBA: Miami Sol, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, New York Liberty, Los Angeles Sparks, and Houston Comets.
Quote: “It’s an amazing feeling to be able to say I was able to be a part of something as special as the Minnesota Lynx organization in my playing career, especially as a homegrown player from Minneapolis,” she said. “The Minnesota Lynx has set a standard in winning championships over the past seven years, which has given young girls something to truly admire and look up to.”
Carolyn Blair-Mobley — High School: St. Paul Johnson, Colleges: Cloud County Community College, Oklahoma State, University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Quote: “Watching game five, I was up and down out of my sit the whole game. The chemistry of the Lynx is out of this world. After the Lynx won game 4 in L.A., I had no doubt in my mind that the Lynx would win the championship this season. I know the WNBA doesn’t get all the credit and recognition it deserves, so seeing that big crowd support our Lynx is amazing.”
Rikiee Ellis — High School: St. Paul Central, Colleges: North Dakota School of Science, Concordia University.
Quote: “First and foremost I am extremely proud of them and the direction women’s basketball has taken. The Lynx made true history for all girls and women that have and still play the game. They have given a positive outlook on the game. They showed us all what it looks like to never give up and leave it all out on floor.”
Tyrai Ross — High School: Minneapolis North, College: Creighton University.
Quote: “Game 5 was full of energy! You could tell the Lynx did not want a repeat of last year. They came out focused from the jump ball. I knew then that the Lynx were going to be champs again! One of the most exciting play-off series and definitely the most exciting championship game I’ve seen in a while!”
Dee Buford — High School: St. Paul Central, College: University of St. Thomas.
Quote: “It’s really empowering to see that Minnesota’s most successful team is one composed of all women. Seeing those women accomplish the things that they have over the years tells little girls across the country and maybe even around the world that there’s no ceiling to how great they can be.”
Crystal Flint — High School: South Boston, College: University of Minnesota, Coach: Minneapolis North girls basketball team.
Quote: “I loved the atmosphere and having it be on the campus of the University of Minnesota was icing on the cake. I loved seeing all the young girls and fathers and mothers with their daughters in attendance. They have an attitude of excellence and young girls should be able to see that.”
Taylor Tidwell-Bennett — High School: Minneapolis North, Grade: 10, Member: Minneapolis North girls basketball team.
Quote: “I feel like the girls knew that they had to win and that they wanted [forward Rebecca] Brunson to get her fifth championship. That shows that the Lynx are the epitome of women’s basketball because you become sisters and you do whatever is needed for your sister.”
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.