Lynx Lead WNBA Fit Clinic On Monday
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The Minnesota Lynx were back on the Target Center court Monday afternoon less than 24 hours after Game 1 of the 2012 WNBA Finals, but they weren’t there to compete. Instead five members of the Lynx joined WNBA President Laurel Richie and former Lynx player and coach Teresa Edwards in hosting a Dribble To Stop Diabetes Fit Clinic.
Approximately 85 kids participated in the event, which put focus on exercising from an early age to help limit obesity and diabetes in the United States. The Lynx players led drills, gave motivational speeches and connected with the elementary school-aged kids. Minnesota’s starting five of Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Rebekkah Brunson and Taj McWilliams-Franklin all took part in the event.
“They just bring a smile to my face,” Moore said of the kids participating in the camp. “To see them come out here with so much energy and listen to everything you’re saying, it really puts things in perspective.”
The Lynx lost Game 1 of the WNBA Finals to Indiana on Sunday, 76-70 at Target Center, but Moore said that was far from her mind when interacting with the kids at Monday’s camp. She and her Lynx teammates were introduced by Edwards, who led the pre-camp speech conveying the message of what hard work mixed with exercising and eating healthy can do not only for individual’s long-term health but also for their goals in life.
After that initial introduction, the kids broke up into smaller groups and took part in activities at different stations. There were five stations set up, which focused on ball handling and dribbling fundamentals, cardio, agility, strength and shooting. Each station included a variation of relay races or individual exercises.
Kids stayed at each station for five minutes with a one-minute rotation. The Lynx players were set up at each spot, overseeing how the kids were doing and helping out when necessary.
Richie said the fact that the Lynx were willing and able to help with the WNBA Cares initiative during an off day of the Finals speaks to the influence the league can have in the community. Not only were five Lynx players on hand, but they were fully involved with the kids from the very beginning.
“I’m sitting here and thinking, ‘Gosh, last night less than 24 hours ago they were playing their hearts out, and then they have to go home and rest up and get all conditioned again, and here they are ready to go,’” Richie said. “It’s nice to know the things we believe in, the league fundamentally that our players believe in giving back.”
The players said there are two things that come out of events like Monday’s clinic. Brunson said it helps promote the importance of being physically fit and healthy, and Moore emphasized how getting a chance to meet professional athletes can have a memorable impact.
Before the camp began, Richie emphasized that the kids were sitting on a basketball court that hosted championship basketball at the highest level, something they can take with them forever.
That experience, plus the excitement and energy the kids brought with them, made it a memorable day for both the kids and the players.
Moore said it helps her remember how much fun it is to play the game of basketball.
“I’m going to into Wednesday’s game just having fun,” she said. “Having a better perspective on what a blessing it is to play the game that we love as a professional and just to appreciate where we are and hopefully what we can impact with these kids.”
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