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
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.
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.