Staff Directory 10646276

Kent Youngblood

Reporter | Pro Sports
Phone: 612-673-4365
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Kent Youngblood has covered sports for the Star Tribune for more than 20 years.


Youngblood covered the Vikings in two NFC title games, Gophers football in two bowl games, both the Wild and Wolves in conference championship series and three Lynx WNBA champions.He has been writing about sports for nearly three decades, including several years in Wisconsin covering the Green Bay Packers, including two trips to the Super Bowl.
Recent content from Kent Youngblood
Sylvia Fowles and Odyssey Sims will represent the Lynx at the WNBA All-Star game in Las Vegas later this month.

Sims and Fowles selected as WNBA All-Star reserves

The Lynx — currently 10-7 and fourth in the league — will send guard Odyssey Sims and center Sylvia Fowles to the WNBA All-Star Game on July 27 in Las Vegas.
Sylvia Fowles outplays Brittany Griner on Sunday and established an all-time WNBA record for double-doubles.

Fowles breaks WNBA record, dominates Griner in Lynx win

All five Lynx starters scored in double-figures, but it was center Sylvia Fowles who received the loudest cheers of the evening for her work against Phoenix.
Cecilia Zandalasini has averaged 5.3 points per game while shooting 38.3 percent from three-point range in 32 career games with the Lynx.

Lynx waive Alaina Coates, bringing back Cecilia Zandalasini

The team has decided to bring back Zandalasini, the sharp-shooting Italian who recently competed in the EuroBasket tournament, even though she's injured.
Lynx forward Temi Fagbenle is back from Britain just as the team hits a stretch of key games heading into the All-Star break.

Fagbenle returns to Lynx in time for push to All-Star break

Temi Fagbenle is back from the EuroBasket tournament, and she's needed by the Lynx.
Lynx forward Napheesa Collier is among the NBA’s top rookies, averaging 11.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. Partly because of injuries, she is playing alm

Rising Lynx rookie Napheesa Collier returns to Connecticut

The first-round draft pick is the latest Huskies product to land with the Lynx.
Lynx forward Stephanie Talbot shoots as Atlanta forward Nia Coffey tries to block in the fourth quarter.

Lynx score runaway victory over Atlanta; Talbot scores career-high 24

The Lynx held the Dream to one field goal over the final 3:54 of the second quarter, then took over to breeze to victory.
Lynx forward Karima Christmas-Kelly, right, is expected to miss the remainder of the WNBA season.

Rash of injuries leaves Lynx scrambling to patch holes

Forward Karima Christmas-Kelly will be out for the season after knee surgery Tuesday.

Lynx's Odyssey Sims apologizes for arrest

Lynx starting guard and leading scorer Odyssey Sims apologized after practice Thursday for her June 6 arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.
Odyssey Sims

'I know the consequences.' Lynx's guard Sims apologizes for arrest

After practice Thursday, guard Odyssey Sims apologized — both for herself and on behalf of the team — for her June 6 arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.
Lynx guard Odyssey Sims

Lynx guard Sims arrested on suspicion of drunken driving

At the Hennepin County jail on June 6, a breath test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.20 — more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 for driving in Minnesota.
Sylvia Fowles drove to the basket during a game against Seattle earlier this season.

'Angry Syl' speaks up, Lynx respond in snapping losing streak

Lynx veteran center Sylvia Fowles on Saturday led by example with her voice and her play. She spoke up on the court, and had 19 points and 10 rebounds in a victory over New York.
Lexie Brown has emerged as one of the Lynx’s best three-point threats, hitting at least one in every game so far.

Now with Lynx, 'Big Shot Brown' finds her own space in the WNBA

After a year of watching and waiting while with Connecticut, Lexie Brown has found time on the court with the Lynx. After averaging 5.6 minutes as a rookie, she is playing 22 minutes per game with Minnesota.

Reeve relishes chance to coach in Olympics again

She will be a national team assistant through the 2020 Olympics.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles looked for room inside against Las Vegas center Liz Cambage in the first quarter Sunday.

Aces use 14-0 run in final minutes to extend Lynx losing streak

Las Vegas led in the game for only about two minutes, but it was enough to send the Lynx to their fourth straight defeat .
Lynx guard Danielle Robinson drove past New York's Asia Durr during the first half of Wednedsay's 75-69 loss to the Liberty in White Plains, N.Y.

Lynx adjust offense for point guard Robinson

The offense is simplified, and the guard has been told to push the pace.
Odyssey Sims of the Lynx looked for a shot while being guarded by Connecticut’s Rachel Banham, a former Gophers star. Sims scored a game-high 25 poi

Connecticut clamps down at end to hand Lynx another loss

The WNBA's hottest team held on down the stretch to hand the Lynx their third loss in a row.
Lynx rookie Napheesa Collier will get more playing time at small forward after Jessica Shepard's injury.

Lynx's Reeve insists offense improving despite losses

Coach Cheryl Reeve saw good signs in the team's second consecutive loss.
Kadiatou Sissoko passed the ball for Syracuse in a game against Miami last January.

U women's basketball lands five-star transfer Sissoka from Syracuse

Kadiatou Sissoko was a five-star recruit and has three years of eligibility.
Lynx rookie Jessica Shepard will have surgery on her right knee after being injured Saturday and tended to by Lynx athletic trainer Chuck Barta.

Lynx rookie Shepard out for season after tearing ACL

"It's heartbreaking," coach Cheryl Reeve said. A power forward with the ability to stretch the floor on offense, Jessica Shepard had emerged as a key contributor in the team's 4-2 start.
Los Angeles guard Chelsea Gray knocked Lynx guard Danielle Robinson into Chiney Ogwumike in the first half.

Lynx fall to LA 89-85 after honoring Whalen's career

Saturday's loss, the first this season at home for the Lynx, was more of the same for a team that has struggled to find any kind of consistency on offense.
Lynx guard Danielle Robinson (3) split the defense of Phoenix forward DeWanna Bonner and center Brittney Griner

Lynx hold on to defeat Phoenix 58-56 after leading by 16 points

Playing in their second game in three nights the Lynx nearly ran out of gas in the fourth quarter but found enough to escape with a home win over the Mercury.
The Storm's Jewell Loyd shoots over the Lynx's Damiris Dantas during the fourth quarter

Can Lynx recover tonight from 'lack of focus' in loss at Seattle?

Many things the Lynx did well in getting off to a 3-0 start disappeared in Tuesday's loss. "It seems like we forgot what our identity was," coach Cheryl Reeve said.
After only two games, Lynx rookie Jessica Shepard is standing out and speaking up.

Lynx rookie Shepard is a quick study

Through training camp, preseason and two regular-season games, it has become clear that Jessica Shepard has been able to do what few WNBA rookies — especially those drafted in the second round — can do.
Odyssey Sims led the Lynx with 15 points. She also had five assists and four steals.

Very different Lynx use balanced attack to shut down Seattle

There are still flaws in their game, but the Lynx are off to a 2-0 start with a vastly overhauled roster and a focus on balance instead of relying on their top players.
Reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart, right, is out this season with a ruptured Achilles tendon while the Lynx's Maya Moore, another MVP, is taking the y

Missing their stars, Lynx, Storm are exhibit A for talent trends in WNBA

More than perhaps ever, the WNBA is less about its big stars and more about the improved level of play of a steadily improving talent flow.
The Lynx Damiris Dantas, left, and Sylvia Fowles, right, blocked the shot of Chicago's Cheyenne Parker under the net during the first quarter

Rookies give Lynx's new look some shine in season-opening victory

The Lynx got some old and a whole lot of new to kick off the season in a 89-71 victory over Chicago in front of an announced crowd of 8,524 at Target Center.
Seeing the Lynx’s transition through was important for Sylvia Fowles. And along the way she noticed that she liked the rebuilt team’s new vibe.

In a loyal place: Fowles returns as leader of young Lynx team

Sylvia Fowles is a holdover on a retooled Lynx team, and is a willing go-to leader. "You're talking about loyalty here," Fowles said.

Five keys to success for the Lynx this season

The team has a slew of new faces, including three rookies — Shao Ting, Napheesa Collier and Jessica Shepard — and the goal of retooling and rebuilding on the fly.
Lynx guard Seimone Augustus drove by Seattle's Jewell Loyd last August

Augustus ruled out of Lynx opener Saturday; Christmas-Kelly questionable

Seimone Augustus and Karima Christmas-Kelly are battling knee soreness. The Lynx open the 2019 season vs. Chicago on Saturday at Target Center.
Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve

Lynx release Larkins, set roster for Saturday night's WNBA opener

The team waived veteran forward Erlana Larkins on Wednesday and will put Temi Fagbenle on the temporarily suspended list this week to get the roster to 12 players.
Going into Wednesday's WNBA draft, coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve's Lynx are in transition. They're coming off an 18-16 season and a first-rou

Lynx hope to fill needs in Wednesday's WNBA draft

Minnesota's first pick is No. 6 in the first round.
Gorgui Dieng said all of his teammates came out to support his foundation fundraiser Thursday night. “They showed how much they cared. Like I always

Charity work brings Wolves together

Events recently hold special meaning for players Dieng, Jones.
March 29, 2003: Dwyane Wade (arm up) took a quantum leap at the Metrodome during the Midwest Regional while with Marquette.

Wade has fond memories of his limited times in Minnesota

In 2003, Dwyane Wade took a quantum leap at the Metrodome while helping Marquette into the Final Four.
Minesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins struggles to control the ball as Miami guard Dwyane Wade defends in the third quarter

Wolves squeak out victory over Wade-led Miami

Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 24 points but his last-second three-point attempt bounced off the rim, preserving a Timberwolves home win.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns got his shot blocked by Portland’s Evan Turner in the fourth quarter Monday.

Wolves dig deeper (as in digging a deeper hole in loss to Blazers)

Down 19 points in the second quarter but up three entering the fourth, the Wolves faded to a 132-122 loss to Portland. "Feels like Groundhog Day right now,'' Ryan Saunders said.
Timberwolves forward Robert Covington had surgery Monday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester designed to alleviate swelling in the right knee he injured e

Covington has knee surgery to discover source of swelling

The forward already had missed 40 consecutive games since suffering a bone bruise Dec. 31 at New Orleans.
For the second consecutive season Gophers women’s basketball guard Kenisha Bell was named an honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press.

Gophers' Bell named All-America honorable mention again

The senior guard averaged 19.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists this season.
Plenette Pierson flexed her muscles to celebrate an and-one opportunity created by Sylvia Fowles during the 2017 season.

Ex-player Pierson returns to Lynx as assistant coach

Plenette Pierson was with the Lynx in 2017 when they won their most recent WNBA title.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns drove to the basket as Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins raced to defend

Sideline play helps Wolves nip Golden State 131-130 in OT

Karl-Anthony Towns had a rough night, but drew a late foul and sank the game-winning free throws with under a second remaining in overtime.
Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders expresses his frustration during the second half.

Another night of weak defense costs Wolves in loss to Clippers

Los Angeles scored 42 points in the first quarter and clinched a playoff spot. The Wolves That lack of defensive intensity "has been the story of a number of games," interim coach Ryan Saunders said.
Entering Tuesday’s game with the Los Angeles Clippers at Target Center, Wolves point guard Tyus Jones is first in the NBA in assist-to-turnover rati

Wolves' Jones posting league-best assist-to-turnover ratio

Jones said the stat is a product of emphasis by the coaches. But it's also being good at making the initial read on a play.
Timberwolves rookie forward Keita Bates-Diop wil see his versatility put to the test in varying roles over the final nine games of the season.

Exam time? Saunders to test Wolves' versatility in final games

Interim coach Ryan Saunders said he will do some experimentation to see how some players fare in unusual situations over the final nine games of the season.
The Wolves’ postseason plans may be out of reach, but they’ll face plenty of playoff teams the rest of the way — including another contest with

Gas is low, but no talk of Wolves tanking

The combination of injuries to Wolves players and the team's schedule down the stretch could conspire to help the team come draft lottery time. But to a man players and coaches say they'll play hard the final 11 games.
The Warriors' Andrew Bogut dunked over the Timberwolves' defense in Golden State's 117-107 victory at Target Center on Tuesday.

Wolves hot start fades against relentless Warriors

The Wolves shot only 40.4 percent. On the defensive end,they let the Warriors do just about whatever they wanted, burning the Wolves over and over.
The Jones brothers -- Tyus of the Timberwolves, left, and Tre of the Duke Blue Devils -- are keeping tabs on one another, especially with the start of

NCAA tournament is a family affair for Tyus and Tre Jones

Tyus was named Most Outstanding Player while leading Duke to the 2015 NCAA title. Now, perhaps his brother will follow in those footsteps.
Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Kenisha Bell (23) was hugged by Annalese Lamke (41) as they celebrated a victory over Michigan State earlier this month

Whalen happy to keep coaching as Gophers draw Northern Iowa in WNIT

The Gophers get at least one more home game.
Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen spoke with Kenisha Bell during a game at Williams Arena last month.

Gophers women more likely in line for WNIT berth, not NCAAs

The team will learn its postseason fate on Monday night.
Gophers head coach Lindsay Whalen spoke to players during a home game in January.

Ice-cold Gophers dig hole, lose Big Ten tournament opener to Indiana

Tenth-seeded Indiana took a 15-point lead in the first half while the Gophers missed all but one of the 15 three-pointers they took in making a quick Big Ten exit.
Gophers guard/forward Destiny Pitts hit a 3-pointer against Wisconsin to open the Big Ten season in December. The conference tournament continues Thur

For Gophers' Pitts, fearlessness is in her nature

In Destiny Pitts, Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen sees a sophomore who never panics, always seems to be the one smiling at crunch time and is never afraid.
Guard Destiny Pitts (3) scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Gophers women's basketball team over Michigan State 81-63 at Williams Arena on Sunday

Gophers women dominate final regular-season game, beat Michigan State 82-63

The Gophers rolled and go to Indianapolis on a high note.
Gophers guard Kenisha Bell was third in the Big Ten in scoring (18.8) entering the weekend. She was tied for ninth in assists (4.3) and third in steal

Bell among four Gophers bidding farewell to the Barn

On senior day, Gophers women's basketball coach Lindsay Whalen said she will remember Palma Kaposi's enthusiasm, Irene Garrido Perez's consistent approach, Annalese Lamke's work ethic and Kenisha Bell's heart.
Gophers head coach Lindsay Whalen spoke with Kenisha Bell during a game vs. Rutgers earlier this month.

After last-second loss, U women need another streak for success

A weak nonconference schedule and a stretch of seven Big Ten losses in eight games have made the Gophers a long shot to make the NCAA tournament
Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns dunked the ball in the second quarter against the Kings on Monday night.

Towns returns with 34 points, 21 rebounds in Wolves win over Kings

Karl-Anthony Towns led a 20-1 run in the second quarter that helped the Wolves overcome a slow start and move up a bit in the playoff chase.
Timberwolves center Karl Anthony-Towns ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com – Minneapolis, MN – February 11, 2019, Target Center, NBA,

Car crash outcome was fortunate for Wolves' Towns

According to Towns, the car in front of them slowed down for another accident further down the road, forcing them to a rather abrupt stop. Then Towns' SUV was hit from behind, he said.
Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon, right, went to the basket as defended by Wolves veteran Luol Deng, who has gone from almost never playing to making many

Saunders takes deep dive into Wolves bench when needed

One of interim coach Ryan Saunders' strengths since taking over the Wolves has been his willingness to make major use of his reserves when needed.
Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo drives against Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins during the second half

Wolves' reserves stand out but NBA-leading Milwaukee puts up 140

The Wolves led by two entering the fourth and then the Bucks went to work, ending the game on a 33-18 run over the final 12 minutes.
Karl-Anthony Towns missed Friday’s game after the car he was riding in was involved in a collision that morning.

Towns unavailable again for Wolves; details of crash emerge

The State Patrol said the Timberwolves All-Star had a minor injury as a result of Thursday's car crash and declined treatment at the scene. He missed a second consecutive game Saturday.
Center Karl-Anthony Towns, fresh off his All-Star appearance, says the Wolves “have to capitalize on the opportunity” to earn a playoff berth.

Wolves have mysteries to solve, games to win as season resumes

The Timberwolves are still convinced that leapfrogging three teams to get to a playoff spot is possible with only 25 games left in the season.
Coach coach Brenda Oldfield (now Frese) hugged Lindsey Whalen after a win over Purdue in 2002. Now, Frese is at Maryland and Whalen is coach of the Go

Full circle: Whalen matches skills with former U coach Frese for 1st time

Maryland coach Brenda Frese took the Gophers women's basketball team from nowhere to national relevance, thanks in large part to guard Lindsay Whalen. The two coach against each other tonight.
Ryan Saunders talked strategy with Tyus Jones during a game on Jan. 11. Jones hasn't played since Jan. 15

Welcome back: Jones could return to Wolves on Friday vs. Knicks

Tyus Jones, who missed 13 games after spraining his left ankle in Philadelphia Jan. 15, returns to a Wolves team that, coming out of the All-Star break, is inching back to health.
Gophers guard Kenisha Bell drove around Penn State forward Lauren Ebo (33) in the first quarter Sunday. Bell shook off an ankle injury to score 17 poi

After early scare, U women run past Penn State to win by 30

Kenisha Bell hobbled off the court two minutes into the game after turning her ankle. But her return set off the Gophers to their highest scoring output of the season.
A victory over then-No. 17 Rutgers generated a celebration from Kenisha Bell and fit in with the Gophers’ run of success.

Whalen revises her tactics with Gophers players

The Gophers women's basketball team has won five in a row. Coach Lindsay Whalen has not just switched the lineup to go small but also her approach to the job, an on-the-fly adjustment she has found gratifying.
Derrick Rose (25) attempted a shot in the second quarter.

Saunders shakes up starting five; Wolves respond with needed win

Luol Deng and Dario Saric started at forward in place of Taj Gibson and Andrew Wiggins. Derrick Rose returned with a big night and the Wolves held off a late-game surge by the Clippers.
Wolves, Clippers coaches reminisce about Flip Saunders

Wolves, Clippers coaches reminisce about Flip Saunders

It was another milestone Monday for Timberwolves interim coach Ryan Saunders, who coached against one of his father's best friends at Target Center.
Gophers forward Taiye Bello (5) blocked the shot of Northwestern's Veronica Burton during Minnesota's 73-64 overtime victory at Williams Arena on Sund

U women roar past Northwestern in overtime for fourth straight win

Minnesota scored the final four points of regulation to force overtime, then scored the first nine points in the extra session in a 73-64 victory.
Gophers head coach Lindsay Whalen spoke with Kenisha Bell during a game vs. Rutgers last week.

Whalen's adjustments in Big Ten play have turned Gophers around

A revamped, smaller Gophers women's basketball lineup — Destiny Pitts (5-10), Jasmine Brunson (5-8) and Kenisha Bell (5-9), along with the 6-1 Irene Garrido Perez and the 6-2 Tayie Bello — has gone 3-0.
Minnesota Lynx forward Damiris Dantas (34) was fouled by Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) when Dantas was a rookie with the Lynx in 2014.

Dantas set to join Lynx after Atlanta declines to match offer

The Lynx signed 6-foot-3 forward Damiris Dantas to an offer sheet earlier this week, and Atlanta had four days to match the offer.
Gophers guard Kenisha Bell (23) and Rutgers' Tekia Mack (31) fought for a loose ball in the second quarter Sunday. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@sta

Awful to awfully good: U women dominate 2nd half, beat No. 17 Rutgers

Even now, well into her first season coaching the Gophers women's basketball team, Lindsay Whalen is learning things about her team.
New Orleans guard E'Twaun Moore shoots as Timberwolves forward Robert Covington tries to defend during the second half of a game Dec. 31. Tom Thibodea

Wolves' three-point defense improving under Saunders

When Ryan Saunders replaced Tom Thibodeau the Wolves were 29th in the league in opponent's three-point percentage (37.3 percent). In Saunders' first 11 games they were fourth (34 percent).
Minnesota Lynx forward Seimone Augustus drives past Connecticut Sun guard Jasmine Thomas during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug.

Lynx re-sign Augustus, begin retooling roster on first day of free agency

The Lynx on Friday made two early moves in WNBA free agency that likely will not be the last for the team this offseason.
Karima Christmas-Kelly, seen here in 2017 while with Dallas playing the Lynx.

Lynx start needed roster makeover by adding Christmas-Kelly

Karima Christmas-Kelly gives the Lynx a much-needed veteran to add to a roster that must evolve after eight years of relative stability and four WNBA titles..

Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson balancing life's many demands

This tender scene was striking.
Andrew Wiggins

More to come? Rebound surge a good sign for Wiggins

Wolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders said increased aggressiveness on the boards can translate to other areas of Andrew Wiggins game, too.
Jasmine Brunson (21), Irene Garrido Perez (31), Taiye Bello (5), Kenisha Bell (23) and Destiny Pitts (3) walked off the court at the end of the game.

Seven scoreless minutes doom Gophers women to another loss

Minnesota went from a two-point lead over Ohio State moments into the fourth quarter to a 14-point deficit, leaving coach Lindsay Whalen unhappy with her team at both ends of the court.
Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur hit a 3-pointer against the defense of Penn State guard Myles Dread

Kalscheur's 'business' mentality vital to hot start with Gophers

Freshman Gabe Kalscheur has started every game for the Gophers, often taking on the job of guarding the other team's top perimeter player.
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