Die-hard Minnesota pro sports fans are so accustomed to having their hearts broken — either by teams that lose too often or ones that can get close but not make it all the way to a national title.
But one hometown team has done it — twice — in recent years. And they’re in the running again for another big win.
For the fourth time in five years, the Minnesota Lynx WNBA basketball team is a championship contender. On Sunday, the Western Conference champs will play the Eastern Conference winner, the Indiana Fever, in game one in the best-of-five national finals. Should the Lynx win the series, it would be the third time since 2011 that they’ve earned the top title.
A win this year would be especially sweet for the veteran starters who have made their team so much fun to follow. Guards Lindsay Whalen (a former U Gopher) and Seimone Augustus and forward Rebekkah Brunson each have nine to 11 years in the WNBA and worked together to bring the previous championships home.
With them for those wins was the younger Maya Moore, a multiple MVP and All Star during her five years in the league. As a leading scorer, she often puts the highest number of points on the board. Yet, like her teammates, she embodies the adage there’s no “I” in “team.”
There’s not a grandstander in the bunch — including 6-5 center Sylvia Fowles, who joined the Lynx in midseason. The Lynx play like people who can finish each other’s sentences, seamlessly turning powerful passes into awesome assists with direction from Coach Cheryl Reeves.
Outside the arena, the Lynx have been strong community supporters by giving grants and their time to education, youth, family development, health and wellness programs. Players participate in the team’s Read to Achieve, a literacy program designed to help kids develop a lifelong love for reading. And as part of the WNBA’s FIT platform, Lynx players and coaches host events and clinics throughout the season to encourage children and their families to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Even though other teams playing Sunday will grab Minnesotans’ attention, fans should also carve out time to either head to the Target Center or tune in to the Lynx. Give them the support they deserve for both their on-court and off-court contributions.