Whalen Meets One Of Her Biggest Fans

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate


For many years, Marvin Haara has held the dream of getting the opportunity to meet his favorite basketball player on his favorite team.

On Monday afternoon, Wish of a Lifetime and the Minnesota Lynx helped make that dream come true.

Marvin, along with his wife Sandy, got the opportunity to meet Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen and watch her and Seimone Augustus practice at The Courts at Mayo Clinic Square.

“I didn’t know we were coming and (Sandy) just said that ‘hey, we are going to be going there,’” Marvin said. “It was really great. I enjoyed it.”

Marvin has been a fan of the Lynx since 1999 and started going to games with his daughter Rachel in 2011. Marvin and his family have been going to games regularly over the last five years and have been Lynx season ticket holders since 2013.

Three years ago, Marvin suffered a significant stroke that has left him working hard to regain mobility and language capabilities. While he has worked hard to recover, Wish of a Lifetime, a non-profit organization that works to grants wishes to older adults, granted him the opportunity to meet Whalen and bring him closer to his favorite team than ever before.

“It was one of Marvin’s big things, he has been into the Lynx now for a while,” Marvin’s wife Sandy said. “We enjoyed watching (Whalen) practice. It was really good and exciting.”

Whalen and the Haara’s, all Hutchinson natives, met prior to Whalen starting practice. The Haaras sat in on the entire practice before Whalen came over to take pictures and signed autographs after.

“She’s a really cool young lady. She’s really an awesome person,” Sandy said. “She represents Hutchinson really well.”

Before suffering from his stroke, Marvin dedicated his life to giving back to others. Marvin, now 78 years old, worked as a personal care assistant at a local nursing home and as a factory worker for many years. In his spare time, Marvin, an ordained pastor, preached at several churches in the area and created a program that was executed at several jails throughout Minnesota. Marvin and Sandy also adopted two children who struggled with special needs and they dedicated all of their time to raise their children and help them to succeed in their life.

On Monday, Whalen, the Lynx and Wish of a Lifetime helped give back to Marvin and his family.

“This was something that we would have never gotten to do otherwise,” Sandy said. “It was awesome.”