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
Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw wants more women, like the Gophers' Lindsay Whalen, coaching in her sport.

Notre Dame coach wants to see more females coaching women's hoops

Muffet McGraw's burning desire is to get more women like the Gophers' Lindsay Whalen into college coaching.
Wolves guard Josh Okogie passed the ball under the basket while being guarded by Grizzlies forward Solomon Hill, center, and forward Jaren Jackson Jr.

Wolves continue to struggle at home, fall to shorthanded Memphis

The Wolves have lost four in a row at Target Center, even though the Grizzlies had lost six consecutive games and were missing their leading scorer.
The Wolves' Andrew Wiggins scored at least 21 points in all 11 games he played in during November.

Wolves' Wiggins completes best month of NBA career

In 11 November games, Andrew Wiggins averaged 27.1 points, made 48.3% of his shots and 39.5% of his three-pointers.
Forward Keita Bates-Diop (shown against Phoenix earlier this month).

Bates-Diop waits, watches, responds off the bench for Wolves

The G League product has sparked the Wolves off the bench lately.
The Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns reacts after being called for a technical foul as he is led away from a referee by teammates Robert Covington (33

Wolves look for improvement on home floor

The Timberwolves have been strong away from home but have lost their past four games at Target Center.
Gophers guard Sara Scalia (shown against Montana State earlier in November) scored a career-high 20 points in Minnesota's 101-54 victory over Bryant o

Gophers women score at will to slam Bryant 101-54

Stillwater freshman Sara Scalia led the way with a career-high 20 points as Minnesota won its fifth game in a row.
Gophers guard Jasmine Powell moved the ball around Bobcats guard Darian White (2) in the first half.

Gophers storm back to beat Montana State 71-60 in women's basketball

Down 12 midway through the third quarter, the Gophers finished the game with a 36-13 run over the final 16 minutes.
Gophers guard Gadiva Hubbard, above vs. Milwaukee last week, has scored in double figures the past three games and had 20 her last game.

Hubbard quickly becoming key player again for Gophers women's basketball

Gadiva Hubbard is making an impact after being sidelined nearly 20 months by a foot injury.
Andrew Wiggins (22) scoring two of his team high 22 points in the fourth quarter.

Wiggins' return isn't enough as Wolves drop another at home

Andrew Wiggins was back after a three-game absence. But Utah countered a second-half Wolves run with one of its own for the victory.
Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders

Saunders still adjusting to NBA's new coach's challenge

Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders is 0-4 in challenges this year. "I'm not concerned with a challenge record with things as long as it's strategic with our group," he said.
Rockets guard Austin Rivers and Wolves forward Jake Layman battled for the ball in the first quarter Saturday night.

Wolves boss Rosas misses Rockets' visit to Target Center

The new Wolves boss was scouting in Europe.
The Gophers' Destiny Pitts (3) drives against Arizona State's Robby Ryan (11) on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. The Gophers

U women up to challenge, knock off No. 19 Arizona State by 14

Coach Lindsay Whalen was determined to beef up her team's nonconference schedule, and the Gophers knocked off a Sun Devils team that reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last season.
Rockets guard James Harden put up a shot against Timberwolves guard Keita Bates-Diop in the third quarter Saturday night.

James Harden's 49 points send Rockets to rout of Wolves

Again playing without Andrew Wiggins, the Wolves could not muster up a response to Houston's challenge.
Freshman guard Jasmine Powell joined the Gophers in part because of her friendship with Destiny Pitts, her high school teammate.

Prep connection for Destiny Pitts, Jasmine Powell carries over to Gophers

The two players teamed up for a state title in high school in Detroit.
Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Taiye Bello (5) went up for a shot as Milwaukee Panthers forward Lizzie Odegard (45) defended in the first half.

Gophers women shrug off slow start in win over UW-Milwaukee

The Gophers women's basketball team learned a couple things in its 77-61 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon.
Karl-Anthony Towns (32) of Minnesota Timberwolves fouled Nikola Jokic (15) of the Denver Nuggets (15) in the first quarter.

Long-range flubs doom Wolves to overtime defeat vs. Denver

The Wolves shot only 35.1 percent overall and went 6-for-45 on three-point shots — with those 39 misses being the third most ever in an NBA game.
The Wolves' Andrew Wiggins (22) fought for the ball with Denver defenders in the second quarter.

Saunders impressed by team's fourth-quarter defense

A lineup that included Treveon Graham, Josh Okogie and Robert Covington — along with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins — spent the fourth quarter playing some of the best defense fans at Target Center have seen in a while.
Gophers freshman guard Sara Scalia made two three-pointers and had eight points off the bench vs. Missouri State in her college debut on Tuesday.

Gophers freshman guard Scalia starts career on right foot

Sara Scalia, coach Lindsay Whalen's first recruit, was impressive in the season opener. Now, she looks for more.
Gophers guard/forward Destiny Pitts drove on Missouri State forward Abby Hipp during the first half of a 77-69 loss Tuesday.

Paying the price: Gophers women lose opener to Missouri State

Missouri State, an NCAA Sweet 16 team last season, outrebounded Minnesota 41-21 and held the Gophers to 40 percent shooting from the field.
Destiny Pitts, who averaged 16.3 points per game last season, was named to the Big Ten’s preseason all-conference team.

Goal for Gophers women: NCAA tournament bid in Whalen's Year 2

The view from outside the program is lofty, too, given that the Gophers are ranked No. 23 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25.
Wolves guard Josh Okogie tried to deliver a pass while trapped by two Bucks players in the third quarter Monday night. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez

Wolves stomped by Bucks on night when nothing was on the level

First, the game was delayed by about an hour because of a crooked rim. Then, Milwaukee showed the Wolves why many consider the Bucks to be the best team in the Eastern Conference.
The Wolves' Andrew Wiggins (being guarded by the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo on Monday night) is averaging 21.2 points per game, almost two points hi

Wiggins is making strides in Wolves offense

He's taking fewer midrange jumpers so far this season, and he's getting to the basket more.
Coach Lindsay Whalen

Gophers No. 23 in first AP women's basketball poll

To Gophers women's basketball coach Lindsay Whalen, being ranked is more motivation to follow up on a strong finish to her first season running the team.
Karl-Anthony Towns went up for a shot against Philadelphia's Joel Embiid during a game in January, 2017

Towns just wants a Wolves win, downplays matchup with Embiid

Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid have gone toe-to-toe on the court and off, but the Wolves center prefers to see Wednesday's game as a battle between two teams trying to stay undefeated.
Wolves guard Shabazz Napier reacted after being called for traveling in the third quarter Sunday night at Target Center.

Wolves' Josh Okogie and Shabazz Napier providing big backup bursts

Josh Okogie was a rather monstrous plus-50 in the Wolves' first two games; Shabazz Napier was a plus-35.
As the NBA season begins, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas, left, and coach Ryan Saunders are talking more about the proc

New Wolves President Rosas staying patient, looking to strike

The Wolves enter the season with a remade roster and with Ryan Saunders about to experience his first opening day as a head coach.
Wolves guard Shabazz Napier shot against the Bucks' Robin Lopez during the second half of a preseason NBA game Thursday.

Brooklyn of the West? Wolves have fitting opponent in opener

That the Timberwolves open the regular season Wednesday in Brooklyn is only fitting, considering the Nets influence that is here on the court and off.
Naz Reid

Reid wields familiar skills as a Wolves center

Naz Reid, the rookie out of LSU, shows the same strengths as Karl-Anthony Towns. But Ryan Saunders offers some cautions about what to expect.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve agreed to a new three-year contract. She calls the Lynx “the franchise that I’ve kind of put my life into.”

Reeve agrees to new three-year contract with Lynx

The deal will keep Cheryl Reeve with the Lynx through 2022.
Timberwolves forward Robert Covington grabbed a defensive rebound with authority in Sunday night’s game. He is returning from a knee injury last sea

Covington says knee is 100%, but rhythm and conditioning need work

Wolves forward Robert Covington admitted the process of getting his rhythm back has been difficult, as has been the process of becoming fully confident that his knee is fully healthy.
Godiva Hubbard, during a game vs. Harvard in 2016.

Hubbard stands out in Gophers women's basketball scrimmage

Returning after an injury, Gadiva Hubbard caught coach Lindsay Whalen's eye during Sunday's session.
Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders poses with players, from left: Jarrett Culver, Robert Covington, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Josh Oko

Wolves' pace will pick up for Tuesday's preseason game

When the preseason opens Tuesday at Phoenix, it appears a number of the Wolves' top players will play significant minutes.
Timberwolves forward Robert Covington not only dealt with a bone bruise in his knee that limited him to playing only 22 games last season, but sought

Healthy and happy: Covington's injury struggle more than physical

Robert Covington supplied a compelling flash of honesty at Wolves media day into just how difficult last season was, including the mental-health struggles that came with the knee injury that kept him from playing.
Lynx coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve will be named the WNBA’s executive of the year Wednesday.

Lynx coach/GM Reeve named WNBA's top basketball executive

Cheryl Reeve rebuilt the roster, after losing much of the starting lineup that had won four of the past seven league titles, and took the team to the playoffs again.
The Lynx's Napheesa Collier, who was named WNBA Rookie of the Year on Monday, came over to greet some fans.

Rookie of the Year Collier achieves goal she set at season's start

Over the course of 34 games, rookie Napheesa Collier played more minutes than anyone in the WNBA, flipping seamlessly for the Lynx between the two forward positions.
The Lynx's Napheesa Collier shoots while defended by Los Angeles Sparks' Candace Parker earlier this month.

Lynx's Collier named WNBA Rookie of the Year

Napheesa Collier, taken sixth overall in the draft out of Connecticut, got 29 votes from the panel of 43 sportswriters and sportscasters. Dallas guard Arike Ogunbowale received the other 14 votes.
Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve.

Reeve: Moore's uncertain status won't have impact on 2020 planning

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said she doesn't know whether star Maya Moore will return next season, "I know you'd like it to be cut-and-dried, black-and-white, but I'm pretty sure it's not."
Sylvia Fowles

Lynx need Fowles at her best in WNBA playoffs

Veteran center Sylvia Fowles is the most experienced player who can expect to get major minutes Wednesday. She helped the Lynx win two WNBA titles, winning regular season and league finals MVP in 2017.
Lynx guard Odyssey Sims (shown in an Aug. 16 game vs. Washington).

Sims gives Lynx their winning balance

Lynx guard Odyssey Sims has led her new team in scoring 15 times this season.
Odyssey Sims is among the Lynx playing much better lately in fourth quarters.

Lynx have thrived recently by finishing what they started

The Lynx now control their fate for a first-round playoff game at Target Center, which they can wrap up by beating Phoenix tonight and Los Angeles on Sunday.
Lynx guard Odyssey Sims tried to intercept a pass from Fever guard Erica Wheeler to forward Candice Dupree in the first quarter at Target Center on Su

Lynx turn tables on Fever with potent scoring off bench in victory

Team's resolve in the fourth quarter is enough to top Indiana.
Minnesota Lynx Napheesa Collier and Odyssey Sims celebrated at the end of the game last week.

With three games remaining, Lynx eye top-six finish and home playoff game

Finish in fifth or sixth and the Lynx will open the playoffs with a single-elimination home game. Drop to seventh or eighth and it means going on the road.
As a future leader of the franchise, Lynx rookie star Napheesa Collier, left, led a postgame celebration with fans, along with teammate Odyssey Sims.

Future face of the franchise? Rookie Collier steps up for Lynx

As 22-year-old Napheesa Collier excels, she finds herself in line for a Lynx veteran's torch-passing. "I'm grooming her to take over the team," 14-year veteran Seimone Augustus said.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles reacted after making a shot late in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's victory over Chicago.

Fowles helps herself to huge game as Lynx bring down Sky, reach playoffs

Sylvia Fowles finished with a season-high 25 points to go with 12 rebounds, helping the Lynx beat Chicago and clinch a ninth consecutive trip to the WNBA playoffs.
Danielle Robinson (3) drove the ball up court against Las Vegas Aces center Liz Cambage (8) on Sunday.

Game changer: 'D-Rob' sets the pace as Lynx make playoff move

Guard Danielle Robinson and coach Cheryl Reeve have been working to focus on what Robinson does best, including playing at a faster pace.
Lynx guard Danielle Robinson put up a first half shot against the defense of All-Star Aces center A'ja Wilson. Robinson finished with 23 points.

Lynx crush Las Vegas, on verge of clinching spot in playoffs

All five starters finished in double figures as the Lynx shot 59 percent from the field and tightened up their defense in the second half against one of the WNBA's top teams.
Damiris Dantas, left, and Sylvia Fowles, right, blocked Chicago's Cheyenne Parker

A post with touch: Dantas plays tough inside for Lynx but that's not all

Damiris Dantas of the Lynx can make threes and find teammates with passes - when she's not posting up.
Rookie Napheesa Collier scored 19 points and added four steals in Thursday's victory over Dallas.

Finally back at home, Lynx snap three-game losing streak

Rookie Napheesa Collier scored 19 points and added five rebounds and four steals as the Lynx opened a long homestand with a victory over Dallas.
Backup center Temi Fagbenle was part of a group that rallied the Lynx against the Sparks on Tuesday. Fagbenle scored 10 points, but the Lynx lost by 1

Lynx looking for best playoff position as season enters final weeks

The Lynx have a 3 1/2-game lead for the final WNBA playoff spot, but are looking at a chance for a home playoff game if they can put together a strong finish.
Lynx forward Damiris Dantas tried to stay with Mystics star Elena Delle Donne on Friday at Target Center. It wasn’t easy.

Better effort still not good enough for Lynx vs. Mystics

The Lynx battled hard until Washington pulled away late.
Lynx guard Odyssey Sims looked to pass with Liberty guard Bria Hartley defending during Tuesday’s game in White Plains, N.Y.

Return to point guard boosts Odyssey Sims' production for Lynx

The All-Star has seen her statistics go up since the return of Seimone Augustus to the lineup.
The Lynx's Stephanie Talbot puts a move on the Sun's Bria Holmes on her way to a fast break basket during the first quarter

Lynx start hot, stay hot in 32-point victory over Connecticut

Six Lynx players scored in double figures, led by 17 points from Sylvia Fowles to go along with 12 rebounds.
Twins curator Clyde Doepner has in his possession two baseballs autographed by Babe Ruth while in St. Paul for a barnstorming appearance in 1926.

Memorabilia collectors keep Minnesota's rich sports history alive

Minnesota sports treasures are out there, if you know where to look. And for some, bookkeeping sports memorabilia is more than a hobby. It's a career.
Seimone Augustus drives against Atlanta guard Maite Cazorla

Augustus is back, finally leading Lynx by her example

It's no coincidence that the latest Lynx victory came on the day Seimone Augustus made her 2019 debut.
Seimone Augustus during training camp.

Augustus has 'jitters' as she returns to Lynx starting lineup tonight

For the first time this season Augustus — who had an arthroscopic procedure done on her right knee May 30 — is expected to play for the Lynx tonight.
The new Timberwolves may not be household names, but a revamped front office believes they offer the kind of upside and versatility that can build a w

Wolves ready a new era with young, hungry free agent class

The Timberwolves on Tuesday introduced five new players, all having something to prove with their team.
Seimone Augustus

Augustus works out with Lynx; Zandalasini ruled out for season

For the first time since arthroscopic surgery on her right knee May 30, Seimone Augustus took part in practice with the Lynx on Wednesday.
Seimone Augustus during the first day of training camp.

Augustus nearing return for Lynx

Seimone Augustus has missed the entire WNBA season because of a knee injury.
Sylvia Fowles

Fowles seeing more of a mentor's role in sixth WNBA All-Star Game

After Wednesday's loss to the Mystics, the Lynx's Sylvia Fowles joked that she'd be more than willing to let the younger players take her playing time.
Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve reacted to a call during the second quarter.

Lynx drop third straight, fall to eighth place after loss to Washington

The good news for the Lynx: They're only 1½ games out of fourth place. The bad: They're only 1½ games out of ninth and out of playoff position.
Lynx forward Stephanie Talbot took a shot over Atlanta forward Nia Coffey earlier this month.

More than a shooter, Lynx forward Talbot making the most of her shot

Stephanie Talbot has risen to the occasion for the Lynx since injuries have required her to take on more playing time.
Lynx rookie forward Napheesa Collier was chosen by WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert as an All-Star replacement for Las Vegas forward A’ja Wilson, w

Keeping up with Maya? Rookie Collier added to WNBA All-Star team

Collier was chosen by WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert as an All-Star replacement for Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson
Wolves draft picks Jarrett Culver, left , Jaylen Nowell, and undrafted rookie Naz Reid give the team three promising newcomers. They were introduced a

Wolves introduce top pick Culver; 'extra pick' Reid gets four-year deal

A month after the NBA draft the Timberwolves were able to formally introduce their 2019 draft class Thursday morning, including undrafted Naz Reid.
Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) expresses frustration after being called on a foul during the first half.

Lynx 'run out of the gym' by fast-paced Storm

Poor defense put the Lynx in a hole they couldn't climb out of despite a fourth quarter rally to within one point. "I don't have a lot of nice things to say about our defense," coach Cheryl Reeve said.
Sylvia Fowles drove to the basket during a game against Seattle earlier this season.

'Angry Syl.' Relentless, loud Fowles fuels Lynx's resurgence

Nicknamed 'Mama Syl' by her Lynx teammates, Fowles has always been more comfortable nurturing than nagging. But the team's early season struggles led her to a new role.
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.