MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Lynx announced the signing of five new honorary members to their roster to create their Minnesota Lynx FastBreak Foundation “Dream Team” presented by Slumberland. The members are Maisy Martindale (HopeKids), Mia Houston (ACES), Millie Muller (HopeKids), Teagin Schmitz (United Heroes League) and Timothy Watkins (Tubman). Each new member was paired with a Lynx player as a mentor for today’s practice and throughout the 2018 season. The mentors include Sylvia Fowles (Maisy), Danielle Robinson (Mia), Rebekkah Brunson (Millie), Lindsay Whalen (Teagin) and Seimone Augustus (Timothy).
In addition to signing an honorary contract, the new members of the Lynx team will have one-on-one time with their mentor, take part in practice, run through skills drills and eat lunch in the Lynx players lounge. The Dream Team will also be honored on court pregame on May 23 before the team takes on the Dallas Wings.
Minnesota non-profit organizations were given the opportunity to nominate youth through an application process that included descriptions of why each should be chosen for the Dream Team and why they are passionate about the Minnesota Lynx and basketball. The nominees were also asked to draw a picture of their favorite Lynx memory.
Maisy Martindale is 10 years old and comes to the Lynx from HopeKids. Maisy has had over 40 surgeries and had a life saving pacemaker implanted in her chest. She loves playing basketball with her brother and while she can’t complete in a team sport on a regular basis, she loves watching sports and cheering as a fan.
Mia Houston is 13 years old and comes to the Lynx from ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students). She attends the Southside Village Boys & Girls Club after school where she attends the ACES program which helps her work on math skills. She is also part of the ACES Youth Advisory Council. She loves playing basketball and has been on a team since third grade.
Millie Muller is 11 years old and comes to the Lynx from HopeKids. She has a congenital heart defect, but she hasn’t let that stop her from giving back, as she annually holds a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital on her birthday. Millie says she loves basketball because of the new friends she’s made through it and she loves the Lynx because, “they are my home team, they are a team made up of girls and they are really good at basketball.”
Teagin Schmitz is 14 years old and comes to the Lynx from United Heroes League. Teagin’s father DuWayne has served over 29 years in the Active Army and Minnesota Army National Guard. Teagin loves to play basketball and hopes to one day play for the University of Minnesota.
Timothy Watkins is 14 years old and comes to the Lynx from Tubman. Tim is an excellent big brother to his three siblings and acts as a big brother to other younger children in the program. Basketball is a great outlet for him and he sees it as a space where he can act on his drive and passion to do more and be more.
Since 2006, HopeKids Minnesota has been providing an ongoing calendar of events and activities for families who have a child with a life-threatening medical condition, such as cancer. Each month, HopeKids schedules a variety of sporting events, live performances, museum visits or other types of fun activities for the whole family. HopeKids strives to keep kids focused on the future, looking forward to the next fun event around the corner, rather than dwelling on what they are dealing with in the present. All of HopeKids events are focused on the whole family to prevent siblings from being unintentionally overlooked, bring families together that understand their journey and are offered at no cost to families. HopeKids has chapters in Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota and Texas.
Tubman is a multi-service agency that offers safety, hope, and healing to people of all ages experiencing relationship violence, exploitation, addiction or mental health challenges, and other forms of trauma. Tubman offers countless ways to help, including family violence shelter and transitional housing; legal services including Orders for Protection; mental and chemical health assessment, treatment and support; elder abuse services; youth programs and in-school violence prevention education; resource counseling, job readiness and financial education; and community education and professional training.
The ACES program provides intentional, project-based curriculum and learning experiences utilizing sports, math, and social-emotional learning for low-income students in grades 4-8 in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The sole mission of ACES is to help reduce the academic achievement gap in the Twin Cities and improve the likelihood of success for underserved students. Founded in 1994, ACES has served over 5,000 youth throughout the Twin Cities. ACES runs programs before-school, after-school, and during the summer, providing an extra academic boost to the students that need it most. ACES participants have higher high school attendance rates, higher reading proficiency scores, higher graduation rates, including on-time graduation, and better school engagement.
About United Heroes League:
United Heroes League is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Hastings, Minnesota. United Heroes League provides free sports equipment, free camps, financial grants and free game tickets to the children of military service members. United Heroes League has helped over 40,000 families across the USA, CANADA and beyond.