Jim Souhan: Whalen shows true grit even if she's searching for Brit's

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 29, 2012 - 1:10 AM

She provided an immediate spark off the bench in her Olympic debut as the U.S. women won its opener against Croatia.

hide

Team USA's Lindsay Whalen drove to the basket against Croatia's Lisa Ann Karcic during Saturday's game in London.

Photo: Harry E. Walker, McClatchy Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

LONDON - Perhaps only a girl from Hutchinson, Minn., who loves her home state and lives in downtown Minneapolis would mull her entertainment options in the teeming, ale-soaked streets of London and decide she'd like to find a place just like Brit's Pub.

"You know, with the lawn bowling and all that," Lindsay Whalen said. "That would be cool."

That's Brit's Pub, Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. "I've got to try some fish 'n' chips, too," Whalen said.

Once the Olympic basketball tournament ends, it might be safe to tell Whalen that there are a few pubs in London, and that they may not be copies of Minnesota's best watering holes.

For now, let her concentrate on basketball. The dynastic U.S. women need her more than anyone could have imagined.

Whalen's inspired play off the bench helped the USA hold off Croatia 81-56 on Saturday at the Olympic Basketball Arena. In 18 minutes, 39 seconds, she scored nine points, making four of her five shots from the field, and contributed two assists and two rebounds.

When Whalen entered the game in the first quarter, she scored five quick points. When she entered in the third quarter, the U.S., carrying a 33-game Olympic winning streak, led 39-36.

After Croatia cut it to 41-40, Whalen took a pass from Lynx teammate Maya Moore for a layup. Less than a minute later, Whalen grabbed a loose ball and drove the length of the court for a layup, making it 47-40.

Whalen started the fourth quarter of the surprisingly close game and helped the U.S. pull away, often as a result of Whalen's floor leadership.

Moore had four points, five rebounds, a steal, a block and two assists in 11:31. Seimone Augustus, the other Lynx star, had two points on 1-for-8 shooting.

"Lindsay did great," said Sue Bird, the starting point guard. "I think what Lindsay brings to our team, the things she does well, you saw them come out to play today. Her aggressiveness. She can score the ball and she can also find people on her way to the basket."

The U.S. roster is remarkably talented and accomplished, and the program has won four consecutive gold medals. Whalen, who did not make the Beijing Olympic team, was not supposed to be a pivotal player.

Saturday, in her first Olympic game, she was.

"I think it's my job to come in and be aggressive, to play to my strengths," she said. "And bring a lot of energy."

She sounded more worried about the pregame introductions than the game itself. Whalen was introduced first, because she wore the lowest number, 4.

"When you're the first one, you just don't want to make any mistakes," she said, laughing. "You don't want to trip. I just wanted to run to my spot, hit everyone's hand and wait, just like I did at the world championships.

"So today I was like, 'Sue, same thing today, right? Just run out there and wait?' "

Maybe it's because she's 30, and has wanted this for so long, or maybe it's because she's always been a humble person from a small town, with hard-working parents. Whatever the reason, Whalen seems awed by her surroundings, even if she isn't letting them throw her off her game.

"Yesterday," she said, "was a big day."

Whalen walked with the U.S. team at the Opening Ceremony. She spent time with Lindsey Berg, the former Gophers volleyball player, and Kevin Love, the Timberwolves star. She caught up with teammates from the team she plays for in the Czech Republic.

She even chatted with LeBron James. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," she said. "Just the crowd, when you walk in there, just being around the other athletes was cool."

Her husband, Ben Greve, arrived Saturday, shortly before Whalen headed for the arena.

"We're going to just chill tonight, but we've got to get out and see the city," she said.

With a little luck, and maybe a few Google searches, Whalen might be able to find an English pub almost as good as Brit's.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - J. Peavy 7:07 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 6:00 PM
Orlando
Brooklyn 6:30 PM
Boston
Washington 6:30 PM
New York
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Atlanta 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Portland 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Phoenix 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Anaheim
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close