Staff Directory 6370602

Kent Youngblood

Reporter | Pro Sports
Phone: 612-673-4365

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
Moriah Jefferson got the franchise’s first triple-double on Tuesday, underlining the Lynx’s improvement in the last seven games even as they sit l

Lynx look to long homestand to show their improvement, boost playoff hopes

The Lynx played their best game in a very long time in a long time in crushing Dallas on Tuesday. Can they play as well in games against first-place Las Vegas tonight and Sunday?
Lynx guard Moriah Jefferson and forward Bridget Carleton celebrated the Lynx’s win Tuesday night at Target Center

History, drama: Jefferson gets Lynx' first triple-double in rout of Dallas

Tuesday's 92-64 victory was well in hand when the team turned its focus to making sure Moriah Jefferson knew she was on the verge of making team history.
Lynx forward Jessica Shepard (10) has averaged 12.2 points and 9.7 rebounds in the last six games.

Struggling on defense, Lynx at least has found its scoring touch

Over the past six games, the Lynx rank second in the WNBA in offensive rating at 109.2. But they've only won two of them as a long homestand begins tonight at Target Center.
Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot during last year’s WNBA Finals.

Lynx lose to Sky on three-point buzzer beater by Vandersloot

The Lynx made nearly 60% of their shots, hit 38% of their three-pointers and rallied from 11 points down. But Courtney Vandersloot's three-pointer sent them to another loss.
June 5, 1978 Title IX legislation but may yet face toughest hurdle Stormi Greener , Minneapolis Star Tribune ORG XMIT: MERe4bb0ea864b4e87b409c77ddce03

Eight Minnesota women on what's next in the fight for gender equality in sports

Title IX's 50th anniversary is an opportunity to challenge current thinking and continue the fight for fairness in sports.
In her first game back after an injury, Lynx center Sylvia Fowles split the defense of Phoenix forward Brianna Turner (21) and center Tina Charles on

Fowles returns, Lynx win second in a row over Phoenix, 100-88

The Lynx used a 20-2 run from late in the first quarter into the second to take the lead for good, leading by as many as 16.
Sylvia Fowles of the Lynx battled for a rebound in a game against Las Vegas in May.

In her final season, Fowles named WNBA All-Star and co-captain

A'ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, Brittney Griner among other players chosen for the midsummer classic.
Lynx forward Natalie Achonwa, shown during a game last season.

Dismal first quarter aside, Lynx put it all together for win over Phoenix

After falling behind by 11 after the first quarter, the Lynx outscored Phoenix 73-49 the rest of the way to break a five-game losing streak.
Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson (22) lays up the ball between Minnesota Lynx guard Moriah Jefferson (4) and forward Jessica Shepard (10) during t

Lynx score two at buzzer when they needed three, lose 96-95 to Aces

After playing a strong first half, the Lynx were overtaken by Las Vegas. Jessica Shepard had career highs in points and rebounds, but owned up to a key mistake at the end of the game.
Despite a 3-12 record, it’s not in the Lynx’s best interest to try to tank for a higher draft pick this season.

Don't bank on a tank: WNBA lottery rules work against Lynx piling up losses

While Lynx fans might want the team to tank for Paige Bueckers given their current record, WNBA draft lottery rule changes from 2015 make success unlikely.
Gophers women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen

Gophers women's basketball team learns Big Ten opponents for next season

The Gophers will play five Big Ten teams twice, including Wisconsin, but just one game against Iowa.
Moriah Jefferson (4) and Kayla McBride come to grips with the Lynx’s 81-79 loss to the Seattle Storm at Target Center on Tuesday night.

Lynx can't hold double-digit lead, drop to 3-12 with loss to Seattle

After taking an 11-point lead in the first half, Minnesota couldn't hold on — losing its fourth game in a row and staying at the bottom of the WNBA standings.
Amaya Battle, left, and Mara Braun are two of the four Minnesotans in the Gophers’ womens basketball 2022 recruiting class.

Fab Four: Historic Gophers women's hoops recruits land on campus

The quartet of Minnesota natives started summer workouts and spoke about creating a team culture that inspires future Minnesotans to play for the U.
Angelina Hammond, right, blocked a ball for Hopkins during the 2018 section final.

Former Hopkins star Hammond joins Gophers women's basketball team

Angelina Hammond, a 5-11 guard, was a three-time all-conference selection at Hopkins. Minnesota will be her fourth college.
After Indiana Fever guard Victoria Vivians (35) slammed into Minnesota Lynx forward Aerial Powers (3) as she drove up court in the fourth quarter, the

Lynx lose to Indiana, drop to bottom of WNBA standings

The Lynx's game with Indiana on Sunday at Target Center began with yet another starter injured. It ended with them 12th in the league after a loss to the 11th-place Fever.
The Lynx couldn’t get in a solid rhythm of play against the Mystics on Friday evening.

'We just can't find it': Frustrated Lynx set season-low for points in loss

Playing without injured center Sylvia Fowles, the Lynx fell behind 8-0 to start Friday's game against the Mystics and struggled throughout, shooting 32.8% in a 17-point loss.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles aggravated a right knee injury in Tuesday’s loss in New York and might be out a week or two.

Latest Lynx setback: Sylvia Fowles sidelined by more knee problems

Fowles aggravated a right knee injury during Tuesday's loss in New York and will miss tonight's game at Target Center. She could be out for a week or two.
Plenette Pierson, while playing for the Lynx in 2017.

Pierson leaves Lynx coaching staff to become Texas Tech assistant

The former Red Raiders star was a three-time WNBA champion as a player, including being a part of the 2017 Lynx championship team.
Cheryl Reeve: then a promising young baseball player, now the boss of the Minnesota Lynx.

How Title IX shaped Cheryl Reeve's remarkable coaching life

Reeve was a 5-year-old kid playing baseball with the boys because there was no girls' softball to be found. That was life 50 years ago when President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law.
Lynx players Rachel Banham (15), Jessica Shepard (10), Bridget Carleton (6), and Kayla McBride (21) waited out the end of a game May 29 at Target Cent

Turnover-prone Lynx lose 84-76 at Atlanta, fall to 2-8 on season

Twenty points from Kayla McBride and 20 rebounds from Sylvia Fowles weren't enough to overcome 26 as the Lynx fell to the worst record in the WNBA.
Chris Finch directed the Timberwolves in an April game. New team president Tim Connelly calls Finch “a special coach.”

Finch, new Timberwolves boss share a comfort level

Coach Chris Finch and Tim Connelly have known each other for years, and Connelly, the team's new president of basketball operation, says of Finch, "The trust is already there. I think the mind-set is already there."
Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike scored on a rebound of her own shot at the end of the fourth quarter to lift Los Angeles over the Lynx 85-83 at Target C

Huge rally on special night falls short as Lynx are defeated by Sparks

The Lynx honored former star Seimone Augustus by retiring her jersey, then battled back from a 17-point first-half deficit to tie the score late — only to lose on Nneka Ogwumike's put-back of her own miss with 7.3 seconds left.
Lynx guard Seimone Augustus danced with a WNBA championship trophy in 2017 before she spoke to fans at at a victory rally at Williams Arena. On Sunday

Augustus reflects on career: Lynx 'will always have a piece of my heart'

Former star Seimone Augustus, the face of the franchise as the Lynx won four WNBA titles in seven seasons, will have her number retired before Sunday's game against Los Angeles.
Napheesa Collier is an Olympic gold medalist who has played three seasons for the Lynx.

Lynx forward Collier has baby girl, hopes to return before season's end

The Olympic gold medalist and former WNBA Rookie of the Year hopes to return to the team this season.
Lynx guard Kayla McBride (21) went up for a layup in the first quarter shot against the Liberty on Tuesday night at Target Center.

Lynx furious rally tops Liberty for second win this season

Down by eight points early in the fourth quarter, two things happened: Minnesota dug in and defended. And then Kayla McBride and Aerial Powers got aggressive.
The Minnesota Lynx honored the victims of the school shooting in Texas with a moment of silence before their WNBA game against the New York Liberty Tu

'How many more kids?' Reeve talks about Texas school shooting

"I have a 7-year-old who goes to school,'' Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said before Tuesday's game. "And I said to my wife, 'it's not if, it's when.' And it's nonsensical."
Rebekkah Brunson, left, and Seimone Augustus, right, played against each other in the WNBA All-Star Game in 2018 at Target Center.

Lynx to retire jersey numbers of Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson

The ceremony for Augustus will be Sunday, the one for Brunson on July 3.
Las Vegas’ A’ja Wilson shot over Lynx center Sylvia Fowles on Thursday during an Aces victory.

After 1-6 start, Lynx regroup by addressing 'falling apart' on defense

Coach Cheryl Reeve prepared for tonight game against the New York Liberty by trying to help her players regain their defensive passion.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve’s team is strugglthis season. The team is 1-6 now.

Lynx come undone in second half in 94-78 loss at Dallas

Ahead by two at halftime, the Lynx allowed Dallas to take over. The Wings were up by 15 to start the fourth quarter and cruised to victory.
Gophers assistant women’s basketball coach Marwan Miller comes to Minnesota after six years at Ohio University.

Whalen hires new assistant; adds transfer and high school commit

Marwan Miller comes to Minnesota after six years at Ohio University. The Gophers also added a center who grew up in France and got a verbal commitment for 2023 from a Maple Grove star.
Lynx guard Kayla McBride celebrated a three-point basket against the Washington Mystics during a game last season.

First win for new-look Lynx marks some key changes

Kayla McBride's return and Moriah Jefferson's arrival give the Lynx another dimension as they won their first game of the season. They play first-place Las Vegas tonight.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles goes up for a shot against Seattle during a game on May 6

McBride, Fowles guide Lynx to first win of season, 87-84 over L.A.

Kayla McBride (24 points including the game-winning bucket) and Sylvia Fowles (20 points, 12 rebounds) led the way in L.A., putting the Lynx in the win column.
Kayla McBride of the Lynx got past Liberty guard Rebecca Allen during a game last season.

McBride shakes off jet lag, returns from Turkey to play for Lynx

Veteran guard Kayla McBride joined the team in Los Angeles, where it hoped to win its first game of the season.
Kayla McBride

Kayla McBride to rejoin winless Lynx for Tuesday's game against Sparks

The veteran guard completed her season in Turkey over the weekend and will try to help the Lynx with their first game of the season on Tuesday.
Lynx forward Jessica Shepard signed a multiyear contract extension with the team, it was announced Sunday.

Lynx sign Shepard to contract extension

Having recovered from knee surgery, forward Jessica Shepard is off to a strong start this season.
Lynx forward-guard Aerial Powers during a WNBA game against the Seattle Storm on May 6

New-look Lynx improve but fall to 0-4 after loss to Chicago

Newly acquired Moriah Jefferson ran the offense smartly, and Aerial Powers, stuck in a shooting slump, scored 11 points with nine rebounds. But a balanced Chicago lineup was too much.
Moriah Jefferson, who played on four NCAA title teams at UConn from 2013 to 2016, will now try to give the winless Lynx a spark at point guard.

Lynx end week of upheaval with new plan, new point guard

The team signed former UConn standout Moriah Jefferson after realizing that the veterans they had surrounded Sylvia Fowles with were not going to work out.
Angel McCoughtry took a shot during Sunday’s game at Target Center.

After 0-3 start, Lynx shake up roster; release veterans McCoughtry, Sims

The Lynx announced they have bought out veteran Angel McCoughtry's contract, waived guard Odyssey Sims and released three others. More moves will need to be made.
Fever forward Emily Engstler shot against Lynx forward Jessica Shepard (10) and center Sylvia Fowles (34) during Tuesday’s game.

Reeve benches two veteran starters as Lynx fall to 0-3 in loss to Indiana

Angel McCoughtry played less than seven minutes and Aerial Powers sat more than she played as the Lynx lost to a rookie-filled team that won only six games last season.
The Lynx’s Jessica Shepard tried to look for her shot against Washington’s Erica McCall in Minnesota’s 78-66 loss in the team’s WNBA home open

Lynx see offense go quiet to end first half, lose home opener to Mystics

The Lynx were outscored 29-6 over the final 12-plus minutes of the first half by Washington, which was playing without star Elena Delle Donne.
Seattle forward Breanna Stewart pulls a rebound away from Lynx guard Aerial Powers during the second quarter Friday.

Lynx go cold in second half, lose season-opener 97-74 at Seattle

Tied at the half, Seattle opened the third quarter on an 18-2 run and never looked back against a disjointed Lynx team.
Sylvia Fowles is one of the WNBA’s all-time greats, but her career isn’t over yet.

Excited for her final season, Fowles knows she's among the WNBA greats

The Lynx open the season tonight in Seattle with the goal of competing for another title, a goal that honors the career of retiring superstar Sylvia Fowles.
Breanna Stewart is key to the Seattle Storm’s playoff hopes and lands them in first place in the WNBA power rankings.

Seattle Storm leads the pack in WNBA 2022 power rankings

Seattle, Chicago and Connecticut could all make a serious challenge for the WNBA title in 2022.
New Lynx guard Yvonne Turner played for the Mercury against Seattle’s Breanna Stewart during a playoff game in 2018.

Lynx add two players before Friday's season opener

Yvonne Turner and Nikolina Milic will join the team in Seattle.
Napheesa Collier signed a three-year contract extension on Monday. The forward is due to have her first child later in May, but still hopes to rejoin

Hoping to 'play with Syl' this season, Collier wants to be back after baby

There's extra incentive for Lynx star Napheesa Collier to return to the team this season after her baby is born: A final chance to play with superstar Sylvia Fowles.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles

Lynx 2022: Four keys to the season

Is Minnesota a playoff contender or pretender? Here is what has to work to make the Lynx a team with a title chance.
Odyssey Sims returned to the Lynx after playing in 2019 and part of 2020.

Signed on Tuesday, Sims likely to be in starting lineup for Lynx opener

Training camp ended on Wednesday as the team prepares for its first game of the season in Seattle.
Napheesa Collier was the WNBA rookie of the year in 2019.

Lynx sign 2021 All-Star Napheesa Collier to multiyear extension

The Lynx might have to wait a while for Collier to return this summer. But she'll be with the team long-term.
Cheryl Reeve, the Lynx coach and general manager, faces some difficult roster decisions before the team begins the regular season in Seattle on Friday

Reserves give Reeve plenty to consider after Lynx rally late to defeat Aces

A number of the reserve players who finished Sunday's 89-86 preseason victory over Las Vegas are fighting for a few spots. But can their performance land them on a crowded roster?
Aerial Powers, right, and Azura Stevens worked out with Team USA during the women’s Final Four week in Minneapolis.

Now healthy, Aerial Powers looks to step up as part of Lynx's big three

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve is looking for more than just scoring and rebounding from Powers, who signed as a free agent last year and was sidelined by injury for a chunk of it.
Gophers women’s hockey player Taylor Heise and seven other seniors will return next season.

Heise among eight seniors coming back to Gophers women's hockey

Taylor Heise won the Patty Kazmaier Award this past season, which goes to the nation's top player.
Memphis’ Ja Morant, left, battled for the ball with the Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards in the fourth quarter Friday night.

Throughout their series win, the Grizzlies never gave up

Memphis, as it did often in the first-round playoff series, dominated the fourth quarter Friday night against the Timberwolves.
Minnesota Lynx guard Crystal Dangerfield rejoined the team this week and knows it’s important to get ready for the season quickly.

Dangerfield trying to fit in quickly with Lynx

Third-year point guard Crystal Dangerfield arrived from Israel on Tuesday but expects to play in an exhibition game Sunday.
Wolves guard Malik Beasley’s three-point shooting success could be a key to Game 6 against the Grizzlies. Beasley made five of 12 threes in the firs

After hot start, Wolves' Beasley searches for his three-point stroke

The guard scored a combined 30 points in Games 1 and 2, but only 19 points in Games 3 through 5 in the series with the Grizzlies.
Wolves guard Patrick Beverley (left) was critical of Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins (right).

Wolves' Beverley critical of Memphis coach blasting refs in Game 4

Taylor Jenkins was fined $15,000 after saying it was "one of the most poorly officiated games I've ever seen in my NBA career.''
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve will have a better idea of where her team is at after two games against the Mystics.

Strong Lynx camp faces first test against Mystics this week

Natalie Achonwa is back to full health after dealing with lingering effects from last year's MCL sprain.
Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns attempted to stop fellow All-Star Ja Morant as the Grizzlies guard drove to the basket late in Saturday’s playoff g

Locking down Morant critical to Timberwolves' playoff success

Grizzlies All-Star Ja Morant shot 4-for-13 on Saturday night, struggling against the Timberwolves' "high wall" defensive strategy.
Rachel Banham poses for a photo during Lynx media day on Wednesday at Target Center

Banham no longer a Lynx wild card: point guard is her home

Rachel Banham has bounced between shooting guard and point until this season, where the Lynx have given the former Gophers star a "clear path."
Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks (24) celebrates with Desmond Bane (22) and Jaren Jackson Jr. after the Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timber

With focus on stopping Morant, Grizzlies bash Wolves with depth

Players like Desmond Bane, Brandon Clarke and Tyus Jones "deserve more respect," Ja Morant says of teammates.
Bridget Carleton, right, backed in for a shot during the 2020 season.

Carleton hopes her Lynx season combines best of both worlds

A strong offensive season in 2020 was followed by a strong defensive season in 2021. Now, Bridget Carleton is seeking both in 2022.
Destinee Oberg was a high school standout at Academy of Holy Angels before going to play at Arkansas.

Ex-Holy Angels star Destinee Oberg transfers to Gophers from Arkansas

Oberg was rated among the nation's top recruits when she picked Arkansas out of high school, and now she's coming back to Minnesota.
South Dakota center Hannah Sjerven went in for a layup during the Coyotes’ first-round NCAA tournament victory over Ole Miss last month.

New recruits know that making Lynx roster will be tough task

Angel McCoughtry and Layshia Clarendon returned from injuries, while Crystal Dangerfield, Kayla McBride and Jessica Shepard will arrive late due to overseas play.
The Lynx went 0-4 before Layshia Clarendon joined the team last season.

After 0-4 start in 2021, Lynx poised for a better beginning

Short of players and fitness, last year's team sank, then regrouped. Cheryl Reeve plans no repeat of the sinking.
The Lynx are attempting to assemble a roster that will make Sylvia Fowles’ final season special.

Lynx training camp roster: From zero to 14 seasons' WNBA experience

The list includes five rookies and two players, Sylvia Fowles and Angel McCoughtry, with more than a decade in the WNBA.
Carly Thibault-DuDonis came to the Gophers’ sideline after Lindsay Whalen was hired.

Whalen's top assistant taking Fairfield coaching job

Thibault-DuDonis played an instrumental role on Lindsay Whalen's Gophers women's basketball staff for four seasons, including handling recruiting.
North Carolina State forward Kayla Jones is known for her ability to distribute the ball and shoot the three.

Rhyne Howard goes No. 1 in WNBA Draft; Lynx add two picks

Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard went No. 1 overall to Atlanta while the Lynx drafted N.C. State's Kayla Jones and former Rogers and South Dakota star Hannah Sjerven.
South Dakota’s Hannah Sjerven went to the basket against Michigan in the NCAA tournament last month.

A look at the two 2022 Lynx draft picks

The Lynx drafted Kayla Jones in the second round and Hannah Sjerven in the third.
Former Gophers guard Sara Scalia

Former Gophers standout Sara Scalia decides to play at Indiana

Scalia, who had been in the NCAA transfer portal, is one of three key transfers the Hoosiers added over the weekend. She was Minnesota's leading scorer last season.
Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve traded away the top two picks in the 2022 WNBA Draft on Sunday.

Lynx trade away two of their four picks for Monday's WNBA draft

The team picked up 2023 first- and second-round picks from Las Vegas but no longer has a first-round selection for this year.
Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve has four picks in Monday’s WNBA draft, but offseason decisions of bringing in or retaining veteran playe

Lynx facing embarrassment of riches as draft day looms

Coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve has four picks to play with and an overfull roster to balance.
Monday's WNBA draft: the details

Monday's WNBA draft: the details

Here's what you need to know ahead of Monday's WNBA draft.
Gophers women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen took questions Wednesday on her induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame and also on the high numb

Whalen savoring Hall of Fame, looking for ways to rebuild Gophers

The Gophers women's basketball team is down to three holdover players, and coach Lindsay Whalen vows to better identify players who fit in — both with their skill and their approach.
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley huddled with her players during Sunday’s NCAA championship game at Target Center.

Is South Carolina the next dynasty in women's college basketball?

Star forward Aliyah Boston said another championship is next year's goal, but coach Dawn Staley isn't ready to compare her program to UConn, with its 11 titles.
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, right, reacts during the trophy presentation in the NCAA WomenÕs Final Four on Sunday, April 3, 2022 at Target

No. 1 all the way. South Carolina overpowers UConn for NCAA title

The Gamecocks started the season as the No. 1 team in women's basketball, held that ranking all season and show off their excellent with a dominate performance Sunday night at Target Center.
South Carolina and UConn players fought for the ball when the two teams met Dec. 22 in the Bahamas.

Dream teams: Final Four finishing with 'best rivalry in women's college basketball'

Two coaches who have won titles, the game's No. 1 players for the past two seasons and two marquee names — UConn and South Carolina — meet tonight at Target Center for the women's Final Four championship.