July 29 - The fourth overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft after leading her Minnesota Gophers to the NCAA Final Four, Connecticut Sun guard Lindsay Whalen is making an immediate impact in the league. Her Connecticut Sun are in first place and she ranks second in the WNBA with 5.4 assists per game. After learning that she had been chosen by the fans to represent the WNBA All-Stars in "WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Game at Radio City" on August 5, Lindsay spoke with WNBA.com about her thoughts and feelings.
Q: Congratulations on being chosen by the fans as an All-Star. So did you tell all of your friends and family to go vote for you or were you not even aware that the vote was taking place?
Whalen is the only rookie on the WNBA All-Star team.
"I definitely knew about it. I went on the web site to check it out and knew that it was going on, but I didn't really think about it a whole lot."
Q: How cool is it to have been voted in by the fans?
"I am very appreciative of the fans and it was a great honor to have been chosen by them. They are who we play for. We want to put forth the best product on the court so they can enjoy themselves when they come to the games. But I am definitely very honored and thankful that the fans chose me, that I get to go to New York and play with and against such talented players."
What are you most looking forward to about playing in The Game at Radio City?
"I am just excited to be able to play against the Olympic team and play with such great players. I am looking forward to seeing and experiencing everything about it."
In the past, All-Star games have been a lot of fun, but this is a training game for the National Team. Are you guys out to give them a real game?
"Any time you step out on the court, you want to play well and want to win. We are going to try and give the U.S. Team a good game and a good test before they have to play against all of the other countries. I know I will be playing my hardest."
As the only rookie on the WNBA All-Star team, did you expect to make such a big impact so soon?
"Coming into the year, I didn't really know what to expect. With the college season ending right before the WNBA season started up, I didn't really have too much time to think about it. I just wanted to come in and do some good things. But I am excited about the opportunities I have had."
Before the season started, a lot of "experts" predicted the Sun to finish lower in the standings. Yet, you are currently in first place and have two teammates on the All-Star team with you. Are you finally getting some respect?"
"It shows that we are a team and play very well together. We share the ball well, and any time you do that, you are going to be successful. The fact that we are in first place right now just shows that we are a tough team and we like to play with each other."
So now that you are more than halfway through your first professional season, what is the biggest difference between the WNBA and college life?
"The travel is definitely a lot more extensive. We've had a few road trips this season that have been more than 10 days, and I definitely never had that in college. Also, we play two or three games a week, so we have to take good care of our bodies, stay focused and be prepared. In college, we only played a couple of games a week, so now we have to be able to bounce back from a good night as well as a bad night - never get too high or too low."
Are you homesick at all?
"(Laughs) No, not at all. I mean, I definitely miss some things about home - my family, especially - but it's not too bad..."