The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 16, 2013

Lynx are champs in more ways than one

Why it matters: The Minnesota Lynx not only won the WNBA championship, but they did it with class, acting as role models for lots of future players.

The Mankato Free Press

---- — If you're stumped on what to get as a gift for any little girl in Minnesota, just make sure it has the word "Lynx" on it and you should be just fine.

A team of female role models just arrived home to Minnesota on Sunday celebrating their second Women's National Basketball Association championship in three years. The Minnesota Lynx were welcomed home with wide-open arms as hundreds of people cheered them on as they arrived at the airport and a day later lined the streets for a victory parade in downtown Minneapolis.

Every little girl who has either played or thought about playing basketball knows about the Minnesota Lynx and is well aware of the team winning the WNBA championship on Thursday, sweeping the Atlanta Dream in the finals. They probably know some of the other statistics, too, such as the fact the team's 99 victories are the most in a three-season span in league history and that they became the second team to go 7-0 in the playoffs.

And although young fans might have a favorite player — Hutchinson native Lindsay Whalen or MVP Maya Moore likely placed high on many favorite lists — the thing about this team is that there is no one star who steals the show.

In the championship game all five starters scored in double figures. The generosity of sharing the spotlight for the greater good is what makes this team so wonderful to watch. No one hogs the ball just to strut their stuff. They share the work, pass the ball, don't capitalize on court theatrics. Instead this team is all about loving the game, concentrating on teamwork and having fun while working their hardest to win.

This team is the epitome of leadership by example. In a state where other professional teams have struggled in a big way, it's such a joy to celebrate the Lynx not only for their championship victory but for how they attained it. Another uplifting fact is that the team's youth ensures Minnesota will see quality women's basketball for years to come, and fans need to support it.

Mankato's Glen Taylor as owner of the Lynx is no doubt proud as can be of his team's accomplishments. We would certainly share his enthusiasm if he brought the team to his hometown to show them off a bit. There's more than a few little girls here who would love to meet their role models in person.