2008 Season Rewind: Nicole Ohlde
Undoubtedly, Minnesota's 2008 season was one for the ages. In the franchise's 10th season in the WNBA, the 12 ladies of 2008 captured fans’ hearts with their aggressive, spirited and energetic play. Under the guidance of Don Zierden, the 2008 squad finished the season 16-18, a six-game improvement from 2007. A 2009 playoff appearance seems to be on the horizon for the second-youngest team in the WNBA.
With the season in our rear view mirror and the players flocking overseas, lynxbasketball.com reflects on an exciting 2008 season by taking a look back at each player's campaign. In the eighth installment of this 12-part series, we take a look back at the season of the longest tenured Lynx player, Nicole Ohlde.
While Nicole Ohlde is not a perfectionist off the court, she does carry an aura of invincibility and an impeccable attendance record with her to the court. Attendance record? Starting in 2004, Ohlde’s rookie year, let's take a look at the numbers… Games played: Lynx 34, Ohlde 34, 2005: Lynx 34, Ohlde 34, 2006: Lynx 34, Ohlde 34. Sensing a pattern here? Surprise, surprise, Ohlde didn't break the norm in 2008, playing and starting in all 34 of Minnesota's regular season games, bringing her run to 170 straight starts, the longest run by a Lynx player in franchise history. Ohlde's run of perfection goes all the way back to her collegiate days at Kansas State, where she started her final 123 contests as a Wildcat. If you combine Ohlde's consecutive games started streak in college with that of her first five years in the WNBA, it makes 293 consecutive games started. I'd say that impressive streak gets Ohlde an A for on-court attendance.
Except for the winter following her rookie season in 2004-05, Ohlde has taken her game overseas every year during the WNBA offseason. Ohlde's winter months have included trips to Belgium, Spain, France and this year, Hungary. Ohlde enjoyed her best year overseas in 2005-06 when she played for Dexia Namur of the Belgian League, where she averaged 22.0 ppg and 6.8 rpg in 26.2 mpg. After taking three months off following the conclusion of the 2008 regular season, Ohlde has landed in Hungary where she will play for MIZO PECS in the months leading up to the 2009 WNBA season.
What a Baller
Ohlde's decision to stay in Minnesota rather than go to Europe immediately following the WNBA season came as a blessing for the Lynx organization. In addition to working out with the coaching staff, during the months of December and January, Ohlde reached out to the youth basketball communities in Minnesota by participating in the 2009 Minnesota Lynx Ballerz Tour. Through the first seven weeks of the Minnesota high school basketball season, Ohlde and the Lynx have stopped at seven of the biggest girls basketball matchups and rivalries in the state, meeting with players, families and fans and bringing the fun and excitement of Lynx Basketball with them. Throughout the tour, Ohlde has offered pregame pep talks to each team and conducted a half-time clinic for all youth in attendance.
2008 Game to Remember
In what many would call a disappointing season for the former Kansas State Wildcat, a couple of superb games standout, namely a July 9 loss to Atlanta at Target Center in which Ohlde totaled season highs in two categories. In the 73-67 loss to the expansion Dream, Ohlde tallied eight points, seven rebounds and one steal. Also included in Ohlde's line were a season-high three blocked shots and a season-high six free-throw attempts, making good on four of them. Ohlde also garnered just under 24 minutes of playing time in the game, her second-highest output of the season. Another line of note for Ohlde in 2008 came in a 91-69 win on June 24 over the New York Liberty at Target Center in which she scored a season-high 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor.
Final 2008 Statistics
Next up: Noelle Quinn