Web Editorial Associate
On Wednesday afternoon, the Humboldt girls basketball team went on a field trip to the new Sportsology exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
But once they got to the exhibit in St. Paul, it ended up being much more than they expected.
Upon their arrival, the team of about 20 players received a surprise appearance from Minnesota Lynx players Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson.
“We came here today to experience some sports things,” Humbolt senior Staciajohna Randle said. “It was really amazing. I only thought one of them was coming, but when I saw both, I got really, really excited.”
Whalen and Brunson spent the afternoon with the team, checking out the exhibit, taking pictures and signing autographs.
“The Lynx players have come in and we are so excited to have them here. They can show other girls who are here at the museum that girls can do sports. . . They can do anything,” said Alison Brown, the President and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota. “This is a fun way to have an engaging experience and see this girls as women in here being active and having fun.”
Among spending time with fellow female athletes, Whalen and Brunson talked to the team about working hard and staying motivated to achieve their goals.
“It’s always important to give women someone to aspire to and something to look at in pertaining to a goal that they are setting in their lives. I think as a female athlete, it’s important to allow women to understand that they don’t have to be set in certain roles, they don’t have to do certain things,” Brunson said. “It’s okay to break the rules, to bend them a little bit and go out there and be athletic and aspire to be something better.
“I think that’s what we are doing right now. . . To come in here and let them know that, hey, you don’t just have to do certain things.”
Whalen and Brunson also talked about how far women’s sports have come, but that they are continuing to work to help them grow even more.
“We’re fortunate enough that 20 years ago, they created the WNBA. Those of us who play basketball continue to get to play and it’s great to celebrate that on days like today and hopefully inspire the next generation of Lynx players and WNBA players,” Whalen said. “We are all trying to create something really great for generations to come.”
For Whalen, giving back to the community and the state in which she grew up in is special. But sending a message and celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day with the next generation means even more.
“I think it’s great. Growing up, it’s great to have role models and it’s great to have someone who is from the same area that you are,” she said. “That’s one thing that we are all kind of aware of as members of the Lynx. Me being from Minnesota maybe adds a little extra, but we all try to do what we can for our communities back home. I’m just fortunate to be able to play in mine. It’s a really cool thing.”