Blessing Kasongoma is a 2019 high school graduate planning on studying journalism and communications in college. She is interning for the summer with the Timberwolves and Lynx as a part of the Step Up program.
As a forward on the Women’s EuroBasket Great Britain team as well as the Minnesota Lynx, Temi Fagbenle’s basketball journey hasn’t been ordinary.
Fagbenle’s career is defined by multitasking. This year, she played in the European Championship tournament while also managing her commitment to the WNBA season with the Lynx. She attended part of training camp with the Lynx after finishing up play with her club team in Poland before leaving for much of the beginning of the WNBA season to participate in EuroBasket. Though the experience was challenging, Fagbenle always keeps strong and stays ready.
“It’s definitely a challenge, Great Britain and overseas, it’s a year-round process. You kind of have to try and find a week or two within it, kind of talk to coaches and be like, ‘Hey, I need some rest, can I can I get it?’” she said. “Because it usually all kind of merges into each other, just trying to find that balance is tough, but it’s really necessary to try to get a week or two just to rest, but also keeping strong and keeping ready to go for the next season.”
Her experience is made easier with the many role models she has on the team.
“Seeing them grind every day, I’m very blessed to be here and have them to watch,” Fagbenle said.
The Lynx forward looks up to her teammate, Sylvia Fowles, who she describes as a fighter.
“It’s just crazy, because she goes through so much, and I don’t go through half as much as she goes through. But she carries it, she carries it well,” she said.
From her time as a professional with the Minnesota Lynx for the last three years, Fagbenle has learned of resilience, the importance of camaraderie and chemistry and values a positive mentality in a team.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot in terms of just being a fighter, and what it takes to win a championship for sure, and just growing as a player as well,” she said.
With a new team and a new season this year, Fagbenle is looking forward to where the Lynx will go together and hopes to grow as a team all the way to the end as they fight for playoff positioning in the WNBA.
“Just seeing where this team could go together. I’m hoping that we grow as a team all the way. I want to be able to have this upward trajectory all the way to the end,” she said. “I know that we gave it our all even if things didn’t go our way all the time, as long as we [play] our hardest, I’m going to be happy.”