WASHINGTON – The Timberwolves made the most of their time in the nation’s capital this weekend with a team outing to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Several players attended the museum Saturday night and made their way through various exhibits over the course of a few hours.
Some players, such as Anthony Tolliver and Jerryd Bayless, have visited the museum previously and said it can take multiple days to see everything that’s documented.
But whether it was their first time or not, it was a humbling experience for the Wolves.
“It was very emotional seeing the displays with slavery,” rookie Josh Okogie said. “And how us as black people work so hard to face oppression and adversity, even when the odds were against us, being able to see what we did to fight for equality and just how we were mistreated.”
Okogie said he was particularly moved by an exhibit devoted to Emmett Till, the teenager whose murder in Mississippi in 1955 was a rallying point in the civil rights movement. Okogie said the museum helped him gain a deeper appreciation and respect for his life.
“It was a real eye-opener,” Okogie said. “How sometimes we take stuff for granted and we have to keep working because still I don’t think the problem is fixed.”
Tolliver said it was his third time at the museum.
“It never ceases to amaze me,” Tolliver said. “The amount of information that’s in there. How much I learn every time I’m in there and seeing the different stuff. I want to go back 10 more times.”
Tolliver, who said he also visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum on this trip, said learning about the history of slavery has made a deep impact on him.
“Going down all the way to the bottom to 1400 and re-living the slavery experience. To me, that’s the most powerful part,” Tolliver said. “Seeing the true views of Africans at that point. Peoples’ lives, it’s just crazy, but it’s humbling. It makes me realize just truly how much our ancestors gave up to allow us to have opportunities like we do today.”
Added Bayless: “Your emotion, it’s strong. It’s very strong. Being able to understand the realities of what happened in this country and the history of this country, it needs to be understood and I think the museum does a good job of that.”
Interim coach Ryan Saunders said the team didn’t have a clear timeframe on when Robert Covington might return from a right knee bone bruise that has sidelined the forward all of 2019, but Saunders said Covington’s stint practicing with the team’s G-League affiliate in Iowa went “according to plan.”
“As far as I know and from the reports I received back, he was able to do everything that was asked of him,” Saunders said.
The Wolves have back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday, vs. Oklahoma City and Detroit.
• Luol Deng missed his second consecutive game because of a sore left Achilles’.
• Entering Sunday, Karl-Anthony Towns was leading the league in scoring since the All-Star break, averaging 37.7 points per game, while Washington guard Bradley Beal was third at 35.3 per game.
• Dario Saric scored the first seven points for the Wolves on Sunday. He hadn’t scored more than seven in his previous four games.