Kent Youngblood writes about the Minnesota Lynx.

At the White House, Barack said to Maya ...

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: June 12, 2014 - 5:46 PM

The Lynx visited the White House today, and the office of President Obama's press secretary was kind enough to provide the transcript ... and here it is:



East Room

2:10 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  (Applause.)  Please, have a seat.  Welcome to the White House.  And give it up for our special guests, the 2013 WNBA Champions, “Los Lynx” -– the Minnesota Lynx.  (Applause.)  We happen also to have some fierce Lynx fans, including Congressman Tim Walz, who is here, and I understand that Mayor Chris Coleman just arrived.  So give them both a big round of applause.  Chris is around here somewhere -- there he is back there.  Stand up, Chris, so everybody can see you.  Take credit.  (Applause.)

     Now, in 2012, when the Lynx came here after their first title, I said I had a feeling I might see them again before I left office.  (Laughter.)  I just want to mention that I was right.  And so you can fact-check that, PolitiFact.  I got that one right.  (Laughter.)  

     One of your assistant coaches, Shelley Patterson, put it pretty simply:  “Winning is what we like to do.”  And it shows.  Over the last three years, Coach Cheryl Reeve has led the Lynx to the WNBA’s best record, winning more than three-quarters of your games, making it -- three straight championship series.  That’s pretty good.  Last year, Seimone Augustus issued one of the strangest apologies in sports -- I’ve never heard this before -- she said, “I’m sorry if we make it look too easy.”  (Laughter.)  That’s a good problem to have.

     But you began last season with something to prove. In 2012, a tough loss to the Indiana Fever in the Finals kept you from a second straight championship.  So in 2013, you set out for a little redemption, and, to put it mildly, you succeeded.

     You did not only go 26-8 in the regular season, but you also swept the playoffs -- a perfect 7-0.  You won it with all-star talent, from Seimone to Rebekkah Brunson, hometown hero Lindsay Whalen.  You did it with fellow all-star and Finals MVP Maya Moore, who has now been here so many times I’ve lost track.  (Laughter.)  I mean, basically there’s like a Maya Moore wing in the White House.  (Laughter.)  And when she comes, we kind of -- we’ve got all her stuff here; she’s got a toothbrush.  (Laughter.)

     And you did it with all-star teamwork.  On the road, in the clinching game of the Finals, all five starters scored in double digits.  Last season, Lindsay set a new franchise record for assists after just 88 games, a mark that took 205 games to set in the first place.  Just gives you a sense of how good she is.  Lindsay can play.   

     But bringing home titles isn’t the only thing that’s earned “Los Lynx” fans throughout Minnesota.  These young women are outstanding members of the community.  They make time to help local students with their reading.  I hear they clean up pretty well for their annual “Catwalk for a Cure” fashion show – (laughter) -- that raises money for breast cancer research, so I’m going to have to look that up.

     I also want to thank this team, as I always tell them, for being great examples for my daughters and for girls across the country.  We know that when young women are involved in sports, they do better across the board.  They do better across the board.  (Applause.)  And when the WNBA first said “we got next,” some folks didn’t think a professional basketball league could make it -- that was 18 seasons ago.  And so we’re excited to see not only where the Lynx are going to go in the future, but every WNBA team for years to come.  And one of the things I’d like to see is a Chicago Sky title -- it’s been a while.  (Laughter.)  A really, really -- a long while.  But it might happen in the future.

     So today, of course, our job is to congratulate this outstanding team standing behind me, the 2013 Champions, the Minnesota Lynx.  Good luck with the rest of your season.  And I understand -- I don’t know, Coach, if you want to say something.  I think Maya, who basically feels like she owns the place, wants to say a few words.  (Laughter.)

     COACH REEVE:  I defer to Maya.  (Applause.)

     MS. MOORE:  Man, what a birthday treat.  Thank you to my teammates --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Happy birthday.  I didn’t know that.

     MS. MOORE:  Yes, yesterday.  It’s all week, don’t worry.  (Laughter.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  Malia and Sasha do the same thing.  (Laughter.)

     MS. MOORE:  It’s reduced down from a month, now it’s a week.

     I just can’t speak enough about this team behind me.  It’s really just been an awesome three years, going into my fourth year, and even before that.  The foundation that was being built with Seimone, Coach Reeve and all the other captains.  But every year it starts at Mr. Taylor’s house, our awesome owner, who has provided -- (applause) -- yes.  (Applause.)

     Like Mr. President said, if we don’t have opportunities to compete in sports and to play in sports, you don’t get to see us up here today.  So to have somebody that believes in us, Mr. Taylor, Becky, we appreciate you.  We have our annual dinner at their house where we all come together.  And as the rookies got to see, we’re really a family.  And what you see behind me right now is very genuine, how we treat each other, the passion that we play with.  Our leaders with Coach Reeve, Jim and Shelley the tireless work that they put in, and they don’t want any credit.  They do their jobs to perfection.

     And last year, we didn’t start out with that hot streak that we did our first two years; we had a little trouble in the beginning.  And then we also hit a rough patch towards the end of the season, losing four out of five games -- I know.  Gasp.  (Laughter.)  And it was a struggle.  We were in Chicago -- this will make you feel good -- (laughter) -- playing against an awesome rookie in Elena Delle Donne, and she ended up hitting a game-winning three.  A heartbreaking loss for us on the road.  And our captain –- one of our captains, Lindsay Whalen, you wouldn’t have known this, but she took that loss on herself.  She cares so much about this team and really just took it personal and hard.  And that’s really the heart of our team and the heart of this club.  We care.  And it shows when we’re on the court, when we’re together, when we’re in the community.  And I think that’s what our nation is about.  We care, we’re leaders in that.  And that’s why this team is so special not just talent wise, but just the people that I’ve been blessed to play with.

     So I think we can continue to make this an annual trip and I want to see that room you’re talking about.  (Laughter and applause.)

     We have a little treat for you for 2013.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Very nice.  Very nice.  (Applause.)  So let’s strike the podium so we can get a good picture here.


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 22 2nd Qtr 7:42
Washington 42
Orlando 31 2nd Qtr 7:57
Charlotte 25
Memphis 4 1st Qtr 10:44
Miami 0
Indiana 7:00 PM
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
New York 9:00 PM
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 1 2nd Prd
Buffalo 0
Detroit 0 1st Prd 3:21
Ottawa 1
Carolina 0 1st Prd 2:08
Tampa Bay 1
New Jersey 0 1st Prd :22
NY Rangers 1
Boston 1 1st Prd :10
Columbus 1
Winnipeg 0 1st Prd 4:19
Minnesota 0
Washington 0 1st Prd 17:52
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Chicago 8:00 PM
Edmonton 9:00 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
North Carolina 89
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 63 2nd Half 9:44
BYU 62
Mercer 43 2nd Half 3:55
Georgia 48
San Francisco 62 2nd Half 4:14
Pacific 63
Wright State 16 1st Half 3:55
Ohio State 38
Presbyterian 14 1st Half 6:20
Virginia Tech 26
Brescia 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Tennessee St 7:30 PM
Kennesaw St 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Portland 8:00 PM
San Diego
Wayland Baptist 8:05 PM
Utah State
Bristol University 8:05 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 21 4th Qtr 7:33
Penn State 14
(25) Nebraska 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
(2) Connecticut 96
Houston 50
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 7:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters