Lynx Four Stars
Lynx All-Star Central
Before the season even began, one glimpse at the Minnesota Lynx roster had heads spinning with eye-opening reactions and an immediate expectation of greatness. But instead of cracking under the pressure that comes with high expectations, the Lynx have embraced the spotlight, reaching new heights that were expected of the team by currently holding a franchise best 9-4 record after 13 games and sitting only a half game behind Phoenix for first place in the Western Conference. But with every great team, there are great individuals fueling the ride that deserve the highest praise.
One of the biggest honors an individual can receive is an All-Star nod, and the Minnesota Lynx have not one, not two, not three, but FOUR All-Stars who will proudly represent the Twin Cities in this weekend's All-Star game. Rebekkah Brunson, Seimone Augustus, and Lindsay Whalen will join Maya Moore, who was voted in by the fans as a starter earlier this week, marking the first time in franchise history the Lynx have had more than two representatives on an All-Star team. Minnesota becomes the first team since Connecticut in 2006 and the fifth team all-time to have four or more All-Stars.
“I think that we've been working hard throughout the season and we're all excited to go and we're all excited to go out there and represent ourselves and show off the hard work that we've been putting forth throughout the season," Rebekkah Brunson said.
The first to be announced as a starter was the young phenom rookie, Maya Moore, who seems to have exponentially grown her fan base in the WNBA that was originally built around the Connecticut Huskies collegiate championship team. Moore is a fan favorite as she continues to shine as the star she is and has quickly emerged as the league's most recognizable and favorite player of many young girls by receiving 21,379 votes and becoming the first rookie to start in the WNBA All-Star game since Tamika Catchings and Sue Bird in 2002.
"A lot of these things [No. 1 in jersey sales, being voted a starter] that we're talking about aren't things that I’m necessarily focused on or really was anticipating but it has been a nice surprise and a chance to really appreciate the fans,” Moore said. “They're the ones voting and buying the merchandise, supporting our team and supporting me so I'm just happy that we've been able to win and that our fans are appreciative of it."
After the starters were announced, it was expected that several Lynx teammates would be joining Moore in the limelight.
Despite being named Western Conference Player of the Week twice and Player of the Month in June, forward Rebekkah Brunson was snubbed of a starter spot, but basically cemented her name in the All-Star lineup with a staggering eight double-doubles and averages of 13.3 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. The humble All-Star returns for a second trip and is looking forward to representing Minnesota with her teammates.
“I'm excited for it, I think it's going to be a good time and a great opportunity for us to go out there and represent the Lynx and give the fans something exciting to watch,” Brunson expressed.
Seimone Augustus adds to her impressive WNBA resume by earning her third All-Star appearance of her six-year career. Second among all active players in career scoring average (19.9 ppg), Augustus is averaging a team-leading 15.2 points per game this season. The former LSU standout's strong performances have been essential for the team's success as she is shooting .509 percent from the floor in Minnesota's nine wins this season, compared to .383 percent in the four losses. Augustus is on the verge of reaching a milestone of her own, just ten field goals shy of passing Katie Smith for the Lynx franchise record for career field goals made.
Fresh off reaching an astounding milestone of 2,500 points, 1,000 assists, and 1,000 rebounds, Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen earns her second All-Star selection. In 13 contests, Whalen is averaging 13.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and a career-best 5.8 assists per game. While she has been playing tremendously consistent individually, Whalen credits her All-Star selection to her team's early success.
"It always comes with winning," Whalen admitted. "It comes with team effort and what we've been able to accomplish on the court, so you know, Coach [Reeve], has been pushing us every day and the team is doing well so anytime there is an individual award, there's always a team that's doing well so it's a big reason why it happens."
The spotlight will shine brightly on the four Lynx All-Stars on Saturday night, and deservedly so. With four stars capable of producing highlight reel material, expect to see quite the show from the Minnesota representatives.
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