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
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.
Cleveland Cavaliers' Dante Exum drives to the basket against the Timberwolves' Josh Okogie in the first half

Wolves withstand furious 30-4 Cleveland rally to win

The Cavaliers went on a 30-4 run to erase a Wolves lead but Minnesota pulled out the win.
Debbie Saunders and son Ryan shared a laugh during a pregame ceremony honoring the late Flip Saunders in 2018. This weekend, a high school gym in his

Wolves make a team outing out of ceremony for Flip Saunders

Flip Saunders, former Wolves president of basketball operations and head coach, is from Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio. On Saturday, the high school gym was dedicated in Flip's honor.
Wolves guard Shabazz Napier and Warriors guard Damion Lee tumbled to the ground after a first-half collision Thursday night at Target Center.

Wolves fill-ins continue to impress with rout of Warriors

Playing for the second night in a row, the Wolves had plenty of energy in reserve at home.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr argued over a call last weekend against Dallas.

Steve Kerr sees youth playing hard for Wolves, Warriors

The Golden State coach was impressed by Minnesota's play against the Bucks.
The Gophers' Jasmine Powell guarded Ohio State’s Madison Greene the first half.

Gophers can't hold lead as Ohio State snaps U's 11-game winning streak

Up seven with 6:04 left Tuesday, the Gophers were outscored by 10 the rest of the way and held scoreless over the game's final 2:55.
Gophers freshman guard Sara Scalia has warmed to the Williams Arena crowds, and adjusted to making big shots on the Big Ten stage.

With help from Gophers teammate Pitts, Scalia finds her way

Sara Scalia was coach Lindsay Whalen's first-ever high school recruit. Destiny Pitts is a two-time All-Big Ten player. They got to know each other over the summer, when both players lived in the gym, spending hours working out with — and against — each other.
Gophers guard Gadiva Hubbard missed last season because of an injury. She's back and shooting 42.6% on three-pointers.

Gophers looking for better start in Big Ten women's basketball

Minnesota began conference play 2-7 in Lindsay Whalen's first season as coach in 2018-19.
Gophers women's basketball coach Lindsay Whalen.

Lindsay Whalen pleased with Gophers women's basketball team's progress in 9-1 start

The Gophers play their final nonconference game Saturday before turning their attention to Big Ten foes.
Minnesota State Mankato running back Nate Gunn took a handoff during last weekend's NCAA Division II semifinal at Slippery Rock, when he ran 15 times

Nate Gunn given a shot at Minnesota State Mankato, and it has paid off

The running back has helped the Mavericks reach the NCAA Division II championship game.
New Orleans forward Brandon Ingram grabs a rebound between Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, left, and guard Jeff Teague

Someone had to win: Wolves drop 8th in row as Pelicans end 13-loss skid

Afterward, Wolves coach Ryan Saunders credited New Orleans for playing with desperation, which only begged the question: Why didn't the Wolves?
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves hold out Towns against Pelicans to rest injured left knee

All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns missed two games earlier this season because of a suspension, but this was the first game he's missed this year because of an injury.
Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns might be missing his third game of the season Wednesday against the Pelicans if his sore knee doesn’t improve.

Sprained knee could sideline Towns tonight against New Orleans

Karl-Anthony Towns appeared to be walking gingerly as he took the court for Tuesday's workout, and he was listed as questionable after a hard fall during Saturday's loss to the Clippers.
Gophers guard Gadiva Hubbard tried to get past UC Davis guard Katie Toole in the first half.

Gophers honor McCarville; Hubbard leads win over UC Davis

A Sunday afternoon that began with Janel McCarville's number raised to the Williams Arena rafters ended with Gadiva Hubbard scoring a season-high 24 points in a 76-67 win.
Janel McCarville hugs Lindsay Whalen near the end of the Gophers' Elite Eight victory over Duke in Norfolk, Va., in March 2004, earning the program a

Time has come for Janel McCarville to be honored by Gophers at Barn

One of the stars of Minnesota's 2004 Final Four team will have a banner hung in her honor at Williams Arena before Sunday afternoon's game.
St. John's quarterback Jackson Erdmann

Erdmann might be best of all in St. John's exclusive 'quarterback club'

Being a Johnnies quarterback is a pretty exclusive club, but Jackson Erdmann has put up some record-setting numbers to lead the pack.
Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw wants more women, like the Gophers' Lindsay Whalen, coaching in her sport.

Notre Dame coach wants to see more females coaching women's hoops

Muffet McGraw's burning desire is to get more women like the Gophers' Lindsay Whalen into college coaching.
Wolves guard Josh Okogie passed the ball under the basket while being guarded by Grizzlies forward Solomon Hill, center, and forward Jaren Jackson Jr.

Wolves continue to struggle at home, fall to shorthanded Memphis

The Wolves have lost four in a row at Target Center, even though the Grizzlies had lost six consecutive games and were missing their leading scorer.
The Wolves' Andrew Wiggins scored at least 21 points in all 11 games he played in during November.

Wolves' Wiggins completes best month of NBA career

In 11 November games, Andrew Wiggins averaged 27.1 points, made 48.3% of his shots and 39.5% of his three-pointers.
Forward Keita Bates-Diop (shown against Phoenix earlier this month).

Bates-Diop waits, watches, responds off the bench for Wolves

The G League product has sparked the Wolves off the bench lately.
The Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns reacts after being called for a technical foul as he is led away from a referee by teammates Robert Covington (33

Wolves look for improvement on home floor

The Timberwolves have been strong away from home but have lost their past four games at Target Center.
Gophers guard Sara Scalia (shown against Montana State earlier in November) scored a career-high 20 points in Minnesota's 101-54 victory over Bryant o

Gophers women score at will to slam Bryant 101-54

Stillwater freshman Sara Scalia led the way with a career-high 20 points as Minnesota won its fifth game in a row.
Gophers guard Jasmine Powell moved the ball around Bobcats guard Darian White (2) in the first half.

Gophers storm back to beat Montana State 71-60 in women's basketball

Down 12 midway through the third quarter, the Gophers finished the game with a 36-13 run over the final 16 minutes.
Gophers guard Gadiva Hubbard, above vs. Milwaukee last week, has scored in double figures the past three games and had 20 her last game.

Hubbard quickly becoming key player again for Gophers women's basketball

Gadiva Hubbard is making an impact after being sidelined nearly 20 months by a foot injury.
Andrew Wiggins (22) scoring two of his team high 22 points in the fourth quarter.

Wiggins' return isn't enough as Wolves drop another at home

Andrew Wiggins was back after a three-game absence. But Utah countered a second-half Wolves run with one of its own for the victory.
Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders

Saunders still adjusting to NBA's new coach's challenge

Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders is 0-4 in challenges this year. "I'm not concerned with a challenge record with things as long as it's strategic with our group," he said.
Rockets guard Austin Rivers and Wolves forward Jake Layman battled for the ball in the first quarter Saturday night.

Wolves boss Rosas misses Rockets' visit to Target Center

The new Wolves boss was scouting in Europe.