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.


Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 8
Los Angeles - WP: C. Perez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5
Texas - WP: S. Tolleson 2 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Street 1
Philadelphia - LP: M. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Doolittle 8
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: C. Bergman 8
Cincinnati 3 Top 8th Inning
St. Louis 2
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 9 3rd Qtr 11:10
Carolina 3
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Washington 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Calgary 1 3rd Prd 2:19
Edmonton 3
Edmonton 0 3rd Prd 1:32
Calgary 1
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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