Lexie Brown recently became the 13th player in Minnesota Lynx history to make five three-pointers in a game and the third WNBA player to do so since the arc was pushed back to 22’ 1¾” prior to 2013. She’s grateful to the Lynx for giving her the opportunity.
Minnesota traded a 2019 draft pick to Connecticut, where Brown was the ninth overall pick in the 2018 Draft and averaged nearly a basket a game in 22 games in April. “I’m very appreciative of the organization to get me here,” said Brown, who is averaging 10 points thus far this season. “They just told me to keep shooting. I could miss five straight, but if I’m open, they are going to get me the ball.”
“She’s a shooter,” Lynx center Sylvia Fowles said of her new teammate. The veteran post player told Brown, “Shoot when you’re open.”
We asked the 5’-9” guard if she had such a green light last season with the Sun. “I didn’t have any light,” Brown recalled. “I accepted my role on that team. That confidence [since joining the Lynx] is a confidence I haven’t had since I left college,” the three-time All American from Duke pointed out.
Brown began her college career at Maryland, played two seasons there, and appeared in consecutive Final Fours (2014 and 2015). She later helped Duke reach the Sweet 16 in her senior season (2017-18), when she averaged almost 20 points a game.
“I think it’s a right fit to be in Minnesota,” Lexie’s father Dee Brown told me. Like his daughter, he too was a first-round pick by Boston in the 1990 NBA Draft and played seven seasons for three clubs; he also won the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest. “As she developed and grew, it was her dream to become a professional basketball player,” Dee said of Lexie.
“I tried tennis, baseball, soccer — I danced a little bit,” Lexie recalled. “My dad has been one of my role models, and I wanted to do what he did. He trained me in the gym, but it wasn’t hours and hours and wasting time.
“We watched a lot of basketball together,” Brown remembered. “He has trained me like a pro. He was teaching me things that at 10, 11 years old kids aren’t learning about.”
“When I learned I was coming to Minnesota, I was excited,” Brown said. “I’m super happy to be here.”
Two now-former Gophers, senior Jordan Murphy and junior Amir Coffey, are both in Thursday’s NBA Draft. But according to ESPN Draft Analyst Mike Schmitz, neither player is likely to be drafted.
“I think Murphy is, at the worst, going to have a really strong career in Europe,” Schmitz told the MSR during a media conference call. “He’s a little bit undersized” for the NBA, he said of the 6’-6” Murphy.
“Coffey had kind of an up and down showing at the G-League elite camp combine,” Schmitz said. “He’s a guy who could potentially get a two-way contract. I see them [Coffey and Murphy] as probably not draftable players.”
Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.