Staff Directory 10646276

Kent Youngblood

Reporter | Pro Sports
Phone: 612-673-4365
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Kent Youngblood has covered sports for the Star Tribune for more than 20 years.

Youngblood covered the Vikings in two NFC title games, Gophers football in two bowl games, both the Wild and Wolves in conference championship series and three Lynx WNBA champions.He has been writing about sports for nearly three decades, including several years in Wisconsin covering the Green Bay Packers, including two trips to the Super Bowl.
Recent content from Kent Youngblood
Cheryl Reeve.

Lynx finalize roster; Shepard, Sims not among initial 12

The moves were mandated by the WNBA despite the fact both training camp and the season have been delayed. This way players can start getting paid June 1.
Third-round draft pick Erica Ogwumike average a double-double this past season at Rice, but the 5-9 guard was waived from the Lynx without ever practi

Lynx waive two players, still have one more roster decision to make

Linnae Harper and Erica Ogwumike were waived without ever getting a chance to show what they could do on the practice floor.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert

WNBA season was supposed to have started Friday

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said this past week the league is focusing on about six scenarios to get play underway. There is no date for a return.
Lynx guard Odyssey Sims tossed a miniature ball to a fan courtside after the Lynx won a game on Sept. 1.

Baby changes Mother's Day, basketball for Lynx's Odyssey Sims

The Lynx had a team meeting recently, a Zoom-style catch-up. Here are the new players. Here are the rookies. One newbie might have stolen the show
Napheesa Collier was the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2019.

Struggling to stay patient, Lynx star Collier awaiting WNBA season

The WNBA's 2019 Rookie of the Year has access to a gym near her home in Missouri and has a workout regimen. But otherwise she's "pretty much playing Monopoly and watching TV."
National Sports Center Executive Director Todd Johnson

Youth sports, Walz administration working toward return to play

Todd Johnson from the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission is leading the way in creating a unified voice.
Thibault-Dudonis promoted to U women's associate head coach

Thibault-Dudonis promoted to U women's associate head coach

Carly Thibault-DuDonis came to the Gophers from Mississippi State, where she spent two seasons — both ending in the NCAA Final Four — as an assistant and recruiter.
Youths wore masks to protect themselves from the spread of coronavirus played soccer in Asuncion, Paraguay. Two competing Minnesota youth soccer assoc

Minnesota youth soccer associations pitch plan for return of play

The five-step plan, over time, would take the sport from where it is now back to practice and, at some point, games and tournaments.
These early Twins bobbleheads mistakenly called the team the Minneapolis Twins. Team owner Calvin Griffith —a legendary penny-pincher — had a secr

Why are Minnesota's pro teams named after the state, not a city?

While most pro teams are named after the cities they are based in, each of Minnesota's six teams uses the state name — the Twins, Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves, Lynx and United. Blame the Twin Cities.
Vikings defensive lineman Bob Lurtsema (left, 1973 photo) said former Colts and Dolphins coach Don Shula, right, "set up my whole career." Shula died

'I owe everything to Shula.' Ex-Viking Lurtsema on coaching legend

Bob Lurtsema was undrafted out of Western Michigan in the 1960s. But he was signed by Baltimore — then coached by Don Shula — as a free agent. It was the start of a journey that led to the Vikings.
With the help of medical professionals, youth sports organizations have come up with phased approach for a return to play and they have sent a letter

Rival youth organizations work together to get games back on field

Two Minnesota groups that typically compete with one another have combined with other organizations to present a plan to Gov. Tim Walz to get kids back on the field.
South Carolina’s Mikiah Herbert Harrigan blocked a shot by Clemson’s Shania Meertens last fall. The Lynx's top draft choice had 58 blocks last sea

'Mad Kiki.' Top draft choice Herbert Harrigan bringing edge to Lynx

Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, her 6-2 forward who was taken by the Lynx with the sixth pick in the WNBA draft, will bring intensity and telling nicknames to Minnesota.
South Carolina's Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan dribbles during the second half of a semifinal match against Arkansas at the Southeastern Conference women's

Balanced effort: Lynx add front-line intensity and a guard in WNBA draft

The Lynx took South Carolina forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan at No. 6 in the WNBA draft and in the second round added UConn guard Crystal Dangerfield, a former teammate of Napheesa Collier.
Coach Lou Holtz, above in 1985, led the Gophers to records of 4-7 in 1984 and 7-5 in 1985 before leaving for Notre Dame.

Holtz was building Gophers into a football power. What if he hadn't left?

The fifth in our week-long series on what would have happened if game-changing and franchise-altering moments hadn't taken place in Minnesota sports. Today: Lou Holtz's brief stopover with the Gophers.
Possible selections for the Lynx at No. 6 in Friday's draft (clockwise from upper left): Connecticut’s Megan Walker, Princeton’s Bella Alarie, Mia

Lynx could pass on point guard, select forward at No. 6 in draft

Other than Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu — the consensus No. 1 player — it appears Cheryl Reeve doesn't believe there is another can't-miss point guard. So the Lynx could fill a different need in tonight's draft.
Cheryl Reeve.

Reeve: Lynx have remote WNBA draft preparation 'under control'

The Lynx only have two picks in Friday's WNBA draft, sixth and 16th overall. That makes the process easier but coach/GM Cheryl Reeve is has a system with multiple lines, feeds and devices.
Maya Moore was in good company on draft night in 2011, seated between UConn coach Geno Auriemma and mother, Kathryn. As expected, Moore’s name was c

Life without Maya: What if the Lynx hadn't won the lottery for Moore?

The first in our week-long series on what would have happened if game-changing and franchise-altering moments hadn't taken place in Minnesota sports. Today: Drafting Maya Moore.
Expectations will be higher for guard Jasmine Powell, who moved into the Gophers starting lineup for the final 12 games and made the Big Ten’s all-f

Early look at Gophers women shows a younger, deeper team

After completing a 16-15 season — one that contained its share of controversy — the Gophers women's basketball team will enter its third season under coach Lindsay Whalen
Kevin Garnett, right, tries to calm down Sam Mitchell after he was ejected during the second game of their NBA playoff series in Houston.

Timberwolves' glimmer of promise in 1997 never was fully realized

This week in Minnesota sports history: In the 651st game in franchise history, the Wolves clinched their first playoff berth. It was the start of eight consecutive playoff appearances, but success didn't stick.
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson, left, and George "Buck" Weaver (shown in these undated photos) were integral players for the 1917 Chicago White Sox.

Cubs, White Sox used Twin Cities to gear up for 1917 season

This week in Minnesota Sports: The White Sox and the Cubs came to town on April 7, 1917 for a weekend of exhibition baseball against the Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints.
Napheesa Collier was the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2019.

WNBA announces start of season postponed because of pandemic

The Lynx were scheduled to open the WNBA season on May 15. The league's draft is still on as scheduled for later this month.
Minnesota Fillies players during a practice, circa 1980

Finances doomed Minnesota Fillies in 1981 after three seasons

This week in Minnesota sports history: The Fillies last game in the Women's Professional Basketball League, a 122-61 loss at San Francisco, was played 39 years ago this week.
The Gophers looked stunned after a 4-3 overtime loss to Harvard in the 1989 NCAA title game at St. Paul Civic Center.

1989 NCAA hockey title was snatched away from Skarda, Gophers

This week in Minnesota sports: In front of 15,861 fans at the St. Paul Civic Center, Harvard beat Randy Skarda's Gophers 4-3 in overtime of the 1989 NCAA hockey national title game.
Coach Jim Pollard and the Muskies spent the 1967-68 season in Minnesota. In front, third from left was future Hall of Famer Mel Daniels. Erv Inniger,

Stint with ABA's Minnesota Muskies opened doors for Erv Inniger

This week in Minnesota sports: In April 1968, the American Basketball Association teams with the best records faced off in the Eastern Conference finals: The Pittsburgh Pipers vs. the Minnesota Muskies
In a memorable week in March 1981, Neal Broten held up his new North Stars jersey on March 30 with General Manager Lou Nanne looking on. He signed two

Broten's week: From 1981 NCAA final with Gophers to NHL debut

This Week in Minnesota Sports: Three days after his last game as a Gopher, Neal Broten was playing for the North Stars, another example of his charmed hockey life.
A big moment for the Guse family: Wilson Guse just hit his first over-the-fence home run, earning a fist bump from Dad/third base coach Bryan Guse. Mo

What about the kids? Shutdown making impact on youth sports

The shutdown is usually discussed in terms of pro teams and college athletes. But in many Minnesota homes, the focus is on youth players of all abilities and ages.
Verne Gagne’s Gophers athletic career included four seasons of football and two NCAA wrestling titles. He bypassed the NFL for pro wrestling, where

Pro wrestling champion Verne Gagne never forgot his amateur roots

This week in Minnesota sports: Successive NCAA championships defined Verne Gagne, even after he entered pro ranks
Gophers forward Amanda Kessel went on to play with the USA team that won silver in the 2014 Winter Olympics and gold in 2018.

Passage of time lends perspective to perfect season for U women's hockey

This Week in Minnesota Sports: In 2013, the Gophers women's hockey team ended its season 41-0 and outscored its opponents 216-36. Players made it look easier than it was.
Going to the hoop with abandon carried Lindsay Whalen to a 31-point day against UCLA in a Gophers NCAA tournament victory in 2004

March 21, 2004: Whalen returns to lead Final Four-bound Gophers

This Week in Minnesota Sports: It was 16 years ago when point guard Lindsay Whalen, a soft cast on her hand, ran onto the Williams Arena floor for a first-round NCAA game against UCLA.
The second of Edina’s boys’ basketball championships came in 1967, with a roster including, from left, Jay Bennett, Bob Zender, Jeff Wright and Pe

When Edina became the first three-peat basketball champs

This Week in Minnesota Sports: Fifty-two years ago this week, the Hornets ended a remarkable three-year run with a 70-45 victory over Moorhead in the 1968 state championship game.

Ivy League transfer finds right fit back home with U women

Former Holy Angels star Laura Bagwell-Katalinich will provide an option in the post for the Gophers women's team.
The Pelicans’ Zion Williamson soared for a dunk against Timberwolves forward Juancho Hernangomez in the first half Sunday.

Timberwolves have no answers for Pelicans' Williamson, Holiday

New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson scored 23 points, but Jrue Holiday supplied a near-triple-double with 37 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
New Orleans’ Lonzo Ball handled the ball against Wolves reserve Jordan McLaughlin in the second half Sunday.

Wolves preach protection with coronavirus concerns

The team is following the NBA's lead but doing what it can to make Target Center safe.
Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen said at season’s end that she had watched her team finally come together, a missed NCAA berth notwithstanding.

Whalen optimistic, even after Gophers' missed NCAA goal

The Gophers women's basketball team faced a trying final few months to the season, and ultimately fell short of its goals. Yet coach Lindsay Whalen this weekend was able to find positives.
Jasmine Brunson (21) high fived Jasmine Powell during a Gophers team workout in September.

The Jasmines play as two peas in a pod for U women's basketball

Jasmine Powell and Jasmine Brunson have a lot more in common than their first name: a dedication to preparation, a lack of fear and an abundance of energy.
With Wolves guard Jordan McLaughlin (left) handling the ball more, D'Angelo Russell can look for more scoring opportunities.

Wolves plan to use McLaughlin more to create space for Russell

With Jordan McLaughlin handling more point guard duties, D'Angelo Russell would be freed up to move without the ball and look for scoring opportunities.
Terrapins guard Kaila Charles (left) tipped the ball away from Gophers forward Taiye Bello in the second quarter at Williams Arena.

Gophers women lose sixth straight with 55-point rout by No. 7 Maryland

The players had to wait until the end of the game for anything to smile about, when Jasmine Brunson received -- and accepted -- a marriage proposal.
Rachel Banham hit a three-pointer against the Lynx in 2018.

Homecoming: Lynx make deal for Gophers' all-time leading scorer Banham

After four years of coming off the bench for the Connecticut Sun, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve sees an expanded role for Rachel Banham in Minnesota. "The opportunity is there," Banham said.
Gophers head coach Lindsay Whalen looked on as her team turned over the ball in the fourth quarter vs. Iowa in January.

Brief lead fades for Gophers women's basketball in loss to Indiana

Minnesota got 35 points from the backcourt of Jasmine Powell (21) and Jasmine Brunson (14), but they couldn't stop the Hoosiers mid-range shooting game.
Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen talks things over with forward Taiye Bello in the second half against Iowa during a game in January.

Generating offense is focus as Gophers women prepare to face Indiana

The Gophers' defense responded after blowout losses. Now it's offense's turn to flip a switch.
Seimone Augustus on the first day of Lynx training camp last season.

'The ending is always hard.' After 14 seasons, Augustus leaves Lynx for Los Angeles

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft was a part of the Lynx's four WNBA title teams. Her departure means that none of the four core players from those title-winners will play for Minnesota in 2020.

Seimone Augustus signs with Sparks after 14 seasons with Lynx

Seimone Augustus, who played on four WNBA Championship teams with the Lynx, signed with the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday. The 11th leading scorer in…
Timberwolves forward James Johnson prepared to pass on a fast break to a teammate in the first quarter.

New players, old result: Wolves squander big lead in loss to 18-36 Charlotte

The Wolves led by 18 in the second quarter and 13 late in the third against the Hornets, who had won only two of their last 15 games before coming to Target Center.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns

Towns out with wrist injury, misses 18th game and Russell's home debut

Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns had an MRI on Tuesday, and will be re-evaluated during the All-Star break. Meantime, he won't be getting accustomed to new teammate D'Angelo Russell.
Rebekkah Brunson, during a news conference in August 2018 following the WNBA season.

Former Lynx star Brunson never thought of coaching, until Reeve called

When Cheryl Reeve called about a coaching opening on the Lynx 2020 staff, Rebekkah Brunson stopped thinking like a player. She knew, she said, this was where her life needed to go.
Gophers guard Sara Scalia drove around Michigan guard Maddie Nolan in the first quarter at Williams Arena on Monday night.

Trounced by 25: Michigan ends U women's three-game winning streak

It was, by almost any measure, the worst loss of the season for Minnesota, which goes on the road for its next two games
Former Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson, the WNBA’s career leading rebounder and the only player who has enough WNBA championship rings for four finger

Brunson will join Lynx coaching staff after 15-season WNBA career

After a one-season absence and playing for five WNBA title teams, Rebekkah Brunson is returning to the Lynx — this time as an assistant coach.
The Gophers gave freshman point guard Jasmine Powell a larger role after the team went through a rough patch, and she has been a key piece of the team

U women take on Michigan still rebounding from low point

The team has distanced itself from Destiny Pitts' exit and an ugly losing streak with three straight Big Ten victories. Now there are injury issues.
Newly acquired Wolves forward James Johnson reacted after scoring a basket in the second half Saturday night against the Clippers. Johnson had 15 poin

The new old guy: James Johnson takes over Wolves' elder statesman role

The 11th-year veteran, at 33 the oldest player on this new team, helped lead the way in his first game after the Wolves flurry of trades.
Malik Beasley was traded to the Wolves this week.

Beasley, Hernangomez could play big roles for Wolves, too

D'Angelo Russell is the headliner, but he's not the only key new Wolves player.
Gophers forward Taiye Bello drove into Rutgers center Maori Davenport in the first quarter. Bello had 19 points and 22 rebounds in Minnesota's 73-71 d

22 rebounds and more: Bello wills Gophers past Rutgers in double OT

Taiye Bello led the way with 19 points and 22 rebounds. She also blocked four shots and made two of her 19 free throws to send the game into overtime.
The Gophers have leaned more on freshman Jasmine Powell since high school teammate Destiny Pitts left the program.

Adding more Jasmine a boost to U women's basketball attack

Adding freshman Jasmine Powell to the starting lineup along with point guard Jasmine Brunson has helped the Gophers after Destiny Pitts left the team.
Minnesota guard Jasmine Brunson dribbled up the court after a steal in the first quarter.

Guard play, 'spirited' pep talk carry U women's basketball over Nebraska

Down 57-54, the Gophers outscored the Huskers 13-4 the rest of the way to break a two-game losing streak. Jasmine Powell scored 19 points and Jasmine Brunson added 16 in the win.
Gophers senor guard Masha Adashchyk, one of the team’s hardest workers, is playing more since Destiny Pitts’ departure.

From Minsk to Dinkytown: Gophers' Adashchyk living American dream

Masha Adashchyk, of Belarus, is getting more minutes for the Gophers near the end of her senior year. "I never thought it would happen," she said.
Phoenix’s DeWanna Bonner (in orange) is a free-agent forward who could interest the Lynx, but they need a point guard more.

Lynx can be aggressive in free agent market if they want to be

WNBA free agency begins Tuesday. The league's new collective bargaining agreement has thrown both a monkey wrench and some extra cash into the equation.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns walked off the court in disbelief of his team's collapse as guard Bogdan Bogdanovic and the Kings celebrated th

'As low as you can get.' Historic collapse sends Wolves to 10th straight loss

Sacramento rallied from 27 points down late in the third quarter and 17 down with three minutes left in regulation play before beating the stunned Wolves in overtime.
Houston guard Russell Westbrook drives past Timberwolves guard Jarrett Culver during the second half

Wolves show 'progress' vs. Houston but see familiar losing result

The Timberwolves on Friday turned in a much better effort than games of late. But Russell Westbrook scored 15 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter, as the Rockets held on to send the Wolves to their eighth consecutive loss.
Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders reacts to a call during the first half against the Bulls

Saunders sets expectation for Wolves: Stop digging holes

Coach Ryan Saunders kept a somber tone Thursday talking about what is needed to end a seven-game losing streak — a month after the Wolves endured an 11-game losing streak.
Jasmine Brunson (21) of Minnesota drove to the basket in the first quarter.

Wisconsin beats Gophers women's basketball for first time since 2012

The Gophers allowed the Badgers to dominate the inside over and over again and then went scoreless for most of the third quarter.
Maya Moore, who helped the Lynx win four WNBA titles, said this week she will miss her second season in a row.

Lynx facing second season without Moore, who won't return for 2020

Coach Cheryl Reeve said the two sides have been in touch regularly over the past year, but the discussions have been about Maya Moore's work away from basketball.
Former New York Liberty head coach Katie Smith is joining the Lynx staff as an assistant.

New Lynx assistant Smith calls return to Minnesota 'a really great fit'

Despite a poor record in her two seasons as head coach of the New York Liberty, Katie Smith's work impressed Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve, who was quick to offer her a job.
Gophers guard Gadiva Hubbard missed last season because of an injury. As one of just a handful of four-year players on the roster, she has been pushed

Hubbard takes bigger leadership role with Pitts gone from Gophers

As one a handful of four-year players on the team, Gadiva Hubbard she has been pushed into more of a leadership role with the departure of Destiny Pitts.
The Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins shot against Toronto’s Pascal Siakam during his triple-double: 18 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists.

Wiggins' first triple-double not enough for Wolves vs. Toronto

Andrew Wiggins provided a home-team spark but the Raptors shot 51.6 percent as a team. The starting backcourt of Fred VanVleet (29) and Kyle Lowry (28) combined for 57 points.
Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen talks things over with forward Taiye Bello in the second half against Iowa

Life after Pitts: Whalen trying to guide Gophers through troubles

Lindsay Whalen is in the midst of the toughest stretch of her coaching career — one that will influence not just the success of this season's team but perhaps define her tenure in future years.
Gophers women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen lost her top scorer — Destiny Pitts — and to No. 22 Iowa 76-75 after leading by 15 in the third

'Blindsided and shocked': Suspended by Whalen, Gophers guard Pitts plans to transfer

Destiny Pitts, the Gophers' leading scorer, said the suspension that has led to her decision to transfer was for "body language" during a recent game against Northwestern.
Gophers guard Jasmine Brunson attempted an off-balance shot after she was fouled by Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle in the first quarter.

Gophers let 15-point lead slip away in 76-75 loss to Iowa

The Hawkeyes took the lead on a three-pointer with 8.8 seconds to play.
The Lynx's Napheesa Collier

Lynx season increases to 36 games, begins May 15 at Chicago

The Lynx will have three nationally televised games — June 7 vs. Los Angeles on ABC; Aug. 16 at Connecticut on ESPN; and Aug 25 at Seattle on ESPN2.
Gophers guard Destiny Pitts (3).

Pitts remains suspended; U women's basketball readies to face Iowa

Leading scorer Destiny Pitts, averaging 16.3 points per game and a first-team all-Big Ten selection by the media as a sophomore last season, will miss a second game as she remains suspended from the Gophers.
Out with an injury, Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns returns to the bench before the start of an NBA basketball game against the Golde

Towns misses 14th game, this time attributed to 'a bug'

It has been an interesting monthlong recovery for Towns, who hurt his left knee Dec. 13 in a game against the Clippers in which he scored 39 points.
Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari slipped past Wolves guard Shabazz Napier for a first-half shot in Oklahoma City's 117-104 victory Monday. Gallinari l

Big numbers leave Wolves numb in loss to Oklahoma City

An unlikely first career triple-double by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, including 20 rebounds for the 6-5 guard, and statistical advantages all across the board led to the 117-104 loss.
Katie Smith defends during a game in 2004. The opposing player is Taj McWilliams-Franklin, who ended her playing career in Minnesota.

Former Lynx star Katie Smith returning as assistant

The move returns one of the greatest players in Lynx history, a player who is still sprinkled all over the team's record book.
Gophers Sara Scalia (14) ran into the defense of Wildcats Abi Scheid (44) and Abbie Wolf (21).

Northwestern buzzer-beater sends U women to 3rd straight defeat

Coach Lindsay Whalen said she was determined the midwinter slump of a season ago wouldn't be repeated. So far, not so good.
Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks, who scored a game-high 28 points, drove past Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague during the second half Tuesday.

Wolves can't handle Memphis guards, blow 14-point lead in loss

Minnesota led by as many as eight in the fourth quarter, but withered against Memphis' high-scoring backcourt of Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant.
Timberwolves guard Shabazz Napier (13) entered Tuesday’s game against the Grizzlies having scored 20 or more points in four consecutive games, but o

Points, minutes rise for Wolves' Napier

Guard entered Tuesday's game with four consecutive 20-point games.
Alan Horton is preparing to announce his 1,000th Wolves game since taking over the job in the 2007-08 season.

Radio broadcaster Horton to call his 1,000th Timberwolves game

The play-by-play man will work the milestone game Tuesday.