Michele Van Gorp: A Key Component

by Ryan Semanko

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Not only is Lynx center Michele Van Gorp the tallest player on the team at 6-6, but she also may be the Lynx player with the biggest heart. Every time Van Gorp steps onto the court, winning is all that is on her mind. She plays with a high level of intensity and tenacity.

"You sort of have to because adrenaline only does so much for you," Van Gorp says. "If you're pumped up and ready to play, feeling good, you just play so much better than if you're down and feeling slow and lethargic."

Now in her third season with the Lynx (and fifth WNBA season overall), Van Gorp provides plenty of production at the center position. Last season she posted career highs in six statistical categories, including points scored and rebounds. Now in her third season with the Lynx, the 26-year-old wanted to improve on her 2002 play by having an even bigger role with the team. She has succeeded with that by becoming one of Minnesota's main scoring threats inside.

"I just got a lot of playing time overseas in the offseason, so I just feel a little more comfortable on the floor," Van Gorp said. "I am having more opportunities to score this year, and I am a bigger defensive threat."

A successful winter playing basketball in Russia, along with the coaching style of new Lynx coach Suzie McConnell Serio, has given Van Gorp more confidence on the floor. Instead of forcing things, Van Gorp lets the game come to her, which has helped her become a better player.

"I just feel a little more comfortable (this season) out on the hardwood," she said. "I try not to think about things and just go with my natural reaction."

For the Lynx to make the playoffs, they will need to continue to get production from Van Gorp. Her size, intensity and confidence make her a key component in the team's success.

This article appeared in the June 21, 2003 edition of Lynx Tonight.