Hitting the Hardwood | Experience Will Help Lynx In Multiple Ways

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

Experience can benefit a team in many ways.

Whether it’s in big-game situations or experience at the playoff or championship-levels, having veterans is a key component to finding success late in a season.

But so far in the 2017 season for the Minnesota Lynx, their veteran presence has proven to be valuable in another area: helping the rookies get acclimated to the WNBA.

“Come to our training camp and then visit some of the other training camps and you’ll see the benefit. Everything is easy. They’ve been there, done that,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “I don’t have to explain to them how it feels to compete at a high level. Watch the rookies that come to training camp and then watch the veterans that have been here for 10 years or more. You’ll just see the gap is unbelievable, but we all have the hunger and passion.”

As the roster currently stands at 15 players during training camp, there are seven players on the Lynx roster that have more than eight years or experience under their belts. Five of those players have been in the WNBA for more than 11 seasons.

“I talk to every single veteran. I always talk to Augustus, talk to Whalen a lot, talk to Fowles a lot. Those three the most I talk to. It’s been fun,” said rookie Chantel Osahor, who drafted by the Chicago Sky in the 2017 WNBA Draft and later acquired by the Lynx. “You’re not just put out there to learn something right off the bat. . . It’s been great having those types of leaders out there.”

Approaching Friday’s preseason opener against the Atlanta Dream at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota has six rookies on its roster, giving the team a good mix of veterans and newcomers.

“I’ve learned from everyone here. I would say that Sylvia Fowles has been a tremendous mentor for me. She is talking to me constantly on the court, on the sidelines, helping me in each and every step. For that, I am grateful.”

Along with veteran players, the Lynx have a veteran and experienced coaching staff. That coaching staff is highlighted by Reeve, a five-time WNBA Champion and two-time WNBA Coach of the Year, Shelley Patterson, a three-time WNBA Champion, and newcomers James Wade and Walt Hopkins.

Collectively, having that veteran presence on the team this year will help the Lynx in 2017 as they gear up to make another run at a WNBA championship.

“The atmosphere here is electric,” Fagbenle said. “I am learning so much from the players and the coaches and it’s fantastic to be in this championship setting.”

Three Lynx Games To Be Streamed On Twitter

The WNBA announced on Monday night that it has agreed to a multiyear deal with Twitter to live stream WNBA games in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

In 2017, there will be 20 games live streamed on Twitter, which includes three Lynx games.

The first game will be on July 14, when the Lynx face the Phoenix Mercury at 9 p.m. in Phoenix. The second game will come at 7 p.m. on August 25 against the San Antonio Stars in San Antonio. The third and final game will be at 6 p.m. August 30 against the Indiana Fever in Indiana.

Preseason Opener On Friday

The Lynx will kick off the 2017 preseason on at 7 p.m. Friday night against the Atlanta Dream at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. We will have plenty of content for you at LynxBasketball.com throughout the day.

Minnesota, which plays two preseason games this season, closes out preseason play at 6 p.m. May 8 against the Washington Mystics in Washington.

The Lynx open up the 2017 regular season at 6 p.m. May 14 against the Chicago Sky at Xcel Energy Center.