Quanitra Hollingsworth, a 6-5 center with a lot of potential, mostly sat on the Lynx bench in 2009 and 2010.

But this summer Hollingsworth, who played college basketball at Virginia Commonwealth, could be playing in the Olympics. Not for the U.S., for Turkey.

This needs some explaining.

Hollingsworth, nicknamed Q, led Uni Seat Gyor to the Hungarian league title last month. And in EuroLeague games, against tougher opponents, she averaged 14.8 points and 10.1 rebounds and shot 61.8 percent.

She was so impressive, Turkey asked her to become a citizen of their country and help their national team qualify for the London Olympics. 

She accepted the Turks offer, meaning she will miss the first half of the WNBA season. The Lynx traded Q to the New York Liberty and she remains on its roster..

But she is not in New York now. She is Istanbul, training with the Turkish national team. It is preparing for the 12-team Olympic qualifying tournament in Ankara, Turkey from June 25-July. The top five teams there are in the Olympics.

The other 11 teams there are:  Argentina, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Korea, Mali, Mozambique, New Zealand and Puerto Rico.

Seven other countries, including the United States, have already qualified.

Turkey has never had a women's basketball team in the Olympics and is ranked 21st in the world, so it will be a challenge for Q and the Turks to get to London.

I covered the Lynx the two years Q was on the team. I liked her. She showed flashes of talent, had some ability to score inside, but never played much. She could dunk a basketball, but never did it a Lynx. She was smart and probably glad to leave Minneapolis for a place she could play more.

Q recently signed with Ekaterinburg UMMC for the 2012-13 season. Ekaterinburg is a city in central Russia, on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains. So Q will get a chance to see another part of the world.

Got to wish her luck getting to the Olympics. Would be fun to see her on the world's biggest international stage in basketball.

For story on Q's career twists, click here.


* So what did team owner Glen Taylor and his wife, Becky, serve the Lynx on Wednesday when the players and coaches went to his home in Mankato for dinner? Lasagna. Can't go wrong with that as the main course if you have a choice between vegetarian and meaty dishes.

* On Friday, the Lynx will practice for the first time on the new basketball at Target Center. It has a WNBA championship decal.

* Over 100 championship rings will be distributed by the Lynx. The team's players and coaches will get theirs at about 11 a.m. Sunday before the Lynx-Phoenix game at 11:30 a.m. Fans are urged to be in their seats by 10:45 not to miss any of the ceremony. ... The team will also unveil its championship banner, which will be hanging from a rafter at Target Center. It will be covered up until the right moment.

So after 11 players get rings, including Charde Houston and Alexis Hornbuckle now on the Mercury, and three Lynx coaches get rings, who will the 86 left over? Answer: Members of the ownership group, longtime employees of the Lynx on the business, marketing and public relations side, trainers, etc.

* WNBA president Laurel Richie will be in the arena for the pregame ceremonies.

* The Lynx raised their tickets prices slightly this year. For example, most ot the first-level bowl seats ranged in price from $357 to $714 if you were buying season tickets in 2011; now those seats range from $391 to $799.

* From 6:30 to 9 a.m. on Friday, Lynx mascot Prowl and the team's front office staff will be serving coffee and juice and handing out pastries to anybody who walks by them. Team reps will be standing in the skyway by Target Center.

* The first 5,000 fans at Sunday's game will receive towels with a mock image of the WNBA championship banner.