Reflections on Lynx greatness

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Two longtime followers of the Minnesota Lynx — the Twin Cities’ most successful pro franchise to date — recently listed their favorite players in the franchise’s history.

For the most part, there was some consensus between the selections of Lynx-Timberwolves Broadcaster Lea B. Olsen (LBO) and original season ticket holder Debbie Montgomery (DM).

Here, their top 20 choices are offered in no particular order:

Maya Moore (2011-present): “She is one of the great athletes in the league.” (LBO)

Lindsay Whalen (2010-18): “What she did for the Gophers and what she has done for the Lynx I think is exceptional.” (LBO)

Sylvia Fowles (2015-present): “We finally got a center.” (DM)

Rebekkah Brunson (2010-present): “The only [player jersey] I bought with her name on the back.” (DM)
“She doesn’t mind her role on the team with other superstars. She’s bigger than a role player.” (LBO)

Katie Smith (1999-2006): “[When] she was with the Lynx, she didn’t have a supporting cast to get the team to the next level.” (LBO)

Renee Montgomery (2009-10; 2015-17): “She’s just a hustler.” (DM) “She was a great bench player.” (LBO)

Seimone Augustus (2006-present): “She is probably one of the most fun players to watch in the league with her style of play.” (LBO). “She’s my girl.” (DM)

Candice Wiggins (2008-12): Wiggins gave Minnesota “a lot of spark and pizzazz.” (LBO)
“I was mad when they traded her.” (DM)

Taj McWilliams-Franklin (2011-12): “She was an integral part of the (team’s first) championship team.” (LBO)

Svetlana Abrosimova (2001-07): “I thought she was a great player.” (LBO)

Tonya Edwards (1999): DM liked the Lynx’s first WNBA All-Star in her only season with the club.

Charde Houston (2008-11): “I remember the crowd liking her.” (LBO)

Lindsay Harding (2007-08): “I enjoyed watching her.” (LBO)

Monica Wright (2010-15): “She wasn’t the most gifted athlete, but was hard-working in her role.” (LBO)

Janel McCarville (2013-14; 2016): “She was such a great passer.” (LBO)

Betty Lennox (2000-02): “I didn’t like it” when she was traded. (DM)

Andrea Lloyd Curry (1999-2000): “She represented the old school because she played in both leagues (ABL and WNBA).” (LBO)

Sonja Tate (1999-2000): “She had a lot of energy.” (LBO)

Vanessa Hayden (2004-06; 2008): “She gave us all that she got.” (LBO)

Damiris Dantas (2014-15): “I thought she was a player on the rise and getting to be real good.” (LBO)

Lindsay Whalen (2010-18): “What she did for the Gophers and what she has done for the Lynx I think is exceptional.” (LBO)

Sylvia Fowles (2015-present): “We finally got a center.” (DM)

Rebekkah Brunson (2010-present): “The only [player jersey] I bought with her name on the back.” (DM)
“She doesn’t mind her role on the team with other superstars. She’s bigger than a role player.” (LBO)

Katie Smith (1999-2006): “[When] she was with the Lynx, she didn’t have a supporting cast to get the team to the next level.” (LBO)

Renee Montgomery (2009-10; 2015-17): “She’s just a hustler.” (DM) “She was a great bench player.” (LBO)

Seimone Augustus (2006-present): “She is probably one of the most fun players to watch in the league with her style of play.” (LBO). “She’s my girl.” (DM)

Candice Wiggins (2008-12): Wiggins gave Minnesota “a lot of spark and pizzazz.” (LBO)
“I was mad when they traded her.” (DM)

Taj McWilliams-Franklin (2011-12): “She was an integral part of the (team’s first) championship team.” (LBO)

Svetlana Abrosimova (2001-07): “I thought she was a great player.” (LBO)

Tonya Edwards (1999): DM liked the Lynx’s first WNBA All-Star in her only season with the club.

Charde Houston (2008-11): “I remember the crowd liking her.” (LBO)

Lindsay Harding (2007-08): “I enjoyed watching her.” (LBO)

Monica Wright (2010-15): “She wasn’t the most gifted athlete, but was hard-working in her role.” (LBO)

Janel McCarville (2013-14; 2016): “She was such a great passer.” (LBO)

Betty Lennox (2000-02): “I didn’t like it” when she was traded. (DM)

Andrea Lloyd Curry (1999-2000): “She represented the old school because she played in both leagues (ABL and WNBA).” (LBO)

Sonja Tate (1999-2000): “She had a lot of energy.” (LBO)

Vanessa Hayden (2004-06; 2008): “She gave us all that she got.” (LBO)

Damiris Dantas (2014-15): “I thought she was a player on the rise and getting to be real good.” (LBO)

Final Four wrap-up

Charles Hallman/MSR News Lauren Clark

Four of the 24 invited high school seniors who played in last Friday’s All-America Volleyball Match were Black. All four players signed to play at Big Ten schools, beginning next fall.

Afterward, the MSR talked to Lauren Clark of Champlin Park High School; Emma Ellis (Charlotte, NC), Courtney Gorum (Chesapeake, VA) and Temitayo Thomas-Ailara (Chicago Heights, IL).

“Penn State recruits a lot of diversity and I wanted to be a part of it to represent the African American culture,” Clark, a six-foot outside hitter said of the Lady Lions.

“I think it is awesome, a huge example for young [Black] girls,” said Ellis, a 6’2” outside hitter who will play at Purdue noted.
“I’m proud of it,” added Gorum, a 6’3” middle blocker on playing for Wisconsin.

“I think it will bring awareness to our sport,” Thomas-Ailara, a 6’2” outside hitter said of Northwestern.

Charles Hallman/MSR New l-r: Courtney Gorum, Temitayo Thomas-Ailara, and Emma Ellis

Finally

A three-match attendance of 35,921 — the second-largest crowd in NCAA history — watched the Final Four last weekend, but few Blacks were among the sea of red (Nebraska’s color), cardinal red (Stanford), orange (Illinois) and blue (BYU).

A noticeable exception was Stanford AD Bernard Muir, one of the 15 Black Division I athletic directors. He told the MSR amidst the falling confetti after the Cardinal defeated Nebraska 3-2, “This is a great championship town. It was a hard-fought match and both teams put on an exhibition.”