Sports Notebook: Whalen wants another title before retiring
Lindsay Whalenis a big Minnesota Vikings fan, so when they lost in the NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia, she took it hard.
"I was really bummed out, disappointed," she said. "Feeling like the Super Bowl was here (in Minnesota), I felt like this was our year. But Philly played well and came in with a chip on their shoulder."
Whalen and the rest of the state has been trying to recover since the Vikings lost to Philadelphia in the NFC title game. She was in Rochester on Monday as the featured speaker at the annual Rochester Sports Banquet.
Whalen is the point guard for the Minnesota Lynx and she is the most accomplished women's basketball player ever from this state. She grew up playing all sports in Hutchinson, including playing catch with the football with her dad in the back yard.
She went on to play four years at the University of Minnesota, leading the Gophers to a Final Four. She has played in two Olympics and has been on four WNBA championship teams with the Lynx. While the top men's pro teams in the state have been championship-free for 25-plus years and counting, the Lynx have won four WNBA titles in the past seven years.
Whalen has done her part to bring women's pro basketball into the main stream in Minnesota.
"We're getting there, we want to have more eyes on the sport," Whalen said. "The best way to do that is to keep putting up banners and winning championships."
Whalen will turn 36 years old in May. Last season she suffered a broken hand which resulted in her having surgery with seven screws and a plate inserted in her hand and arm. She has a passion to win another title, but realizes her playing days are winding down.
"At this point, I'm probably year to year," she admitted.
Whalen has been transitioning into broadcasting as she is doing nine Minnesota Timberwolves games this year plus a few college games. She said broadcasting could be in her future, but first hopes to win another WNBA title.
"We have four in seven years, but we've never won back-to-back (titles)," Whalen said. "We really want that fifth one."
The upstart Minnesota High School Basketball Hall of Fame has unveiled its first induction class and it has a heavy local flavor. The Minnesota High School Basketball Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx, will have a display in the skyway of the recently renovated Target Center to honor the recipients. The goal of the Hall of Fame is to celebrate the rich history of high school basketball from around the state by recognizing the most successful players, teams, coaches and other contributors.
An inaugural class of 14 inductees will be honored March 26, with a reception at The Courts at Mayo Clinic Center at the second floor Experience Center from 4-6 p.m.
The first class includes Lake City's Randy Breuer, Lourdes girls coach Myron Glassand the Grand Meadow girls' basketball teams from 1929-39.
• Breuer led Lake City to a 70-3 record over a three-year period, and back-to-back state championships in 1978 and 1979. He concluded his career with 1,599 points, 113 of which came in the three state tournament games in 1979 which still stands as the tourney record. He was honored as Mr. Basketball in 1979. Breuer went on to play at the University of Minnesota where he became one of only five Gophers all-time to record more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 150 blocked shots. Breuer was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 18th overall pick in the 1983 NBA draft. The 7-foot-3 center also played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings during a career that spanned 11 years.
• Glass is the second winningest girls basketball coach in state history with a record of 719-143 over 31 seasons. Glass guided Lourdes to eight state championships and the Eagles never lost in the state finals. They made 15 state tournament appearances under his guidance, and accumulated 30 state tournament wins.
• The Grand Meadow girls won 94 consecutive games over an 11-year period, outscoring opponents by an average of 38-12 in an early prior to the girls' game became sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League. It was an era when it was a two-court game with six girls to a team. Lila Reiersgardcoached the group for the first seven years. Two players — Mildred Bergin 1930 and DeVera Bratrudin 1939 — each had 50-point games during the streak.
• The rest of the first class includes Khalid El-Aminof Minneapolis North; Ron Johnsonof New Prague; Janet Karvonen-Montgomeryof New York Mills; Kevin McHaleof Hibbing; Jim McIntyreof Minneapolis Patrick Henry; Mark Olberdingof Melrose; Lindsay Whalenof Hutchinson; Chisholm coach Bob McDonald; Minneapolis North and DeLaSalle coach Faith Johnson Patterson; Dorothy McIntyreof Edina; and the Edgerton boys team of 1960.