Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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One chapter in Whalen's basketball career perhaps ending, another beginning

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: May 4, 2012 - 10:58 PM

Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen is not wanted anymore. At least by her team in the Czech Republic.

In Minneapolis, she is still a media and fan favorite. You could tell that on Friday as cameras and digital voice recorders surrounded her after her first Lynx practice.

Said Whalen, "It was exciting to see everyone, we were able to have a good practice. I got nervous energy out of way.

"We just have to stay working hard and making sure we are getting shots up and having fun. That’s what we did last year. So we need to continue to have fun and work hard."

Last year, of course, the Lynx won the WNBA.

REBUILDING CZECHS

Her team in the Czech Republic, USK Praha, went 32-0 in the Czech League and won the championship series, but it was only 8-8 in EuroLeague play.

So the team has decided to blow up the roster, according to lovewomensbasketball.com. It is not re-signing any of its foreign players nor its Czech center.

Gone are forward DeLisha Milton-Jones and Whalen, its two Americans. Whalen has been on the team the longest, joining it in 2007-08. Also gone is Spanish forward Anna Montanana, a former Lynx, two Swedish guards and a Ukrainian center.

Milton-Jones and Montanana were too injury prone, the story said, adding USK Praha wanted to sign an American power forward because there were so few Europeans at that position. And, guess what? USK Praha has got a rebounder for next season already, signing 6-4 Kia Vaughn of the New York Liberty late this week.

Whalen averaged 23.1 minutes for USK Praha in the Czech League, shooting 66.7 percent from the field -- that's an awfully high percentage, a lot of layups on fast breaks? -- and 82 percent from the free throw line but only 12.5 percent on threes. That's low, but maybe she didn't take many shots from behind the arc.

She averaged 14.3 points -- second behind Milton-Jones' 20.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists. Milton-Jones plays for the Los Angeles Sparks during the WNBA season.

In the third game of the Czech League championship series, USK Praha beat Frisco IMOS Brno 82-52. Whalen had eight points, five rebounds and five assists.

In the EuroLeague, Whalen's scoring dropped to 8.2 points per game but assists were up to 3.0 per game.

WHALEN SAYS

On being on U.S. team for Summer Olympics in London: "I am fortunate to be a part of it and just really honored. I am just going to do everything that I can to help the team when we get there."

On Lynx repeating as WNBA champions: "I know we have high expectations always, but you have to try to stay in the moment and stay grounded, and understand those are the things that got us the championship last year. And try not to get too far ahead of ourselves."

On difference between women's basketball in Europe and the WNBA: "Every night, we play a great team. Over there, there are great teams over there as well but the WNBA is [filled with] high-caliber, high-quality players, 11 players on a team that can really play. So it is a different style, a different tempo, a different intensity. It takes a while to adjust back to that. That’s why you have training camp and that’s why you have preseason games."

On playing an exhibition game on May 15 against Chicago at the Sports Pavilion, the arena she played at as a Gophers freshman: "It will be good. We had so much fun at Williams [Arena], but the Pav is where it all started. So it will be fun. I know we will have a great time over there and it is a great facility. I am glad that they schedule it at the U of M."

On what Whalen, who turns 30 on Wednesday, will do when she retires: "I would like to be around the University of Minnesota. It is something I like to do. I don’t know about coaching, but I definitely want to be involved with some kind of sports team."

Whalen was an administrative assistant with the Gophers women's basketball team for the 2006-07 college season. Her major in college was sports management.

 

 

 

 

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