Quotables

“My freshman year at the U, after practice, the bigs were all trying to grab the rim. A couple of us got it and felt great about ourselves. Then comes Whay, a thick little guard who showed us all up. We watched in awe as she went up and got the rim. Trust me, that was not the last time she left my jaw on the floor.’’

Janel McCarville, U and Lynx teammate

 

“I told Lindsay through the process that the biggest thing I’d miss was watching her play, just the joy, I guess is the word we’ve always thought when we would watch her play.”

Kathy Whalen, Lindsay’s mother

 

“She can relate to anyone. She has just always been able to do it. She has a charm about her, a feistiness. A sense of humor. She has the ability to put everyone around her at ease. All her teammates, all backgrounds. That ability will help her as a coach.’’

Mike Thibault, Whalen’s coach in Connecticut

 

“Her heart and her desire to win and leave it out there every time she steps on the floor, I feel like it’s unmatched. You have players that are similar, but as far as I’m concerned, she showed us all how to compete.” 

Rebekkah Brunson, Lynx teammate

 

“She has a physicality about her. She likes to get to the rim. She likes to draw contact, she likes to get and-ones. As a point guard she always knows what the team needs. But as a player, in her greatest stretch, it was her ability to attack the rim. Look at her career. That’s what made her special.’’

Sue Bird, the WNBA’s career assist leader

 

“Lindsay Whalen will always be remembered as one of the greatest players and winners in the history of our league. Her impact was immediate, leading the Connecticut Sun to the Finals in each of her first two seasons before going on to become a four-time champion with the Minnesota Lynx. A five-time All-Star and two-time gold medal winner, Lindsay will finish her remarkable career with the most regular-season wins in league history. I wish Lindsay continued and compelling success as she continues to inspire the next generation of female athletes at the University of Minnesota.”

Lisa Borders, president of the WNBA

 

“Hands down the best player I ever coached. But she’s a better person than a basketball player. And that says a lot. My strongest memory is how she makes everyone around her feel special. That is a gift most people don’t have. From her teammates to the last person on the bench, to the manager to the scout guys. Everyone is valued. That’s a gift.’’

Pam Borton, Whalen’s coach at the U

 

“She’s a pioneer of the tough point guard. Before her, there wasn’t anyone with that toughness, just bullying to the rim. As a rookie I remember her getting knocked down and just popping back up. We hadn’t seen that. We’d seen finesse, flashiness, but we hadn’t seen someone doing that stuff.’’

Taj McWilliams-Franklin, teammate in Connecticut and on the Lynx