Earlier this week, this post courtesy of Lindsay Whalen garnered significant attention.
It’s posts like this that make me realize we have a lot of work to do. Nothing against the amazing athletes in this post but how can you have a serious list in Minnesota without Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles? pic.twitter.com/mpxDGbuYTb
— Lindsay Whalen (@Lindsay_13) December 22, 2017
While whoever made the original post apparently overlooked the talented veteran players that make up the Minnesota Lynx, the state’s largest newspaper did not overlook the Lynx’s accomplishments in 2017 as its head coach, Cheryl Reeve, was named Sportsperson of the Year by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The Star-Tribune bestowed the honor upon Reeve because of the results she has witnessed and been part of as Lynx coach (four WNBA titles) as well as her ability to connect and unite her players both on and off the court. The newspaper has credited her as a common denominator throughout the franchise’s success in the 2010’s.
A story was told of how after the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Reeve called the league to express her frustrations as well as those of the players who were disturbed at the news.
I couldn’t imagine how they were feeling. I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.
What the Lynx players did was wear black shirts that honored the memories of Sterling and Castile as well as those of the Dallas police officers who were shot at a Black Lives Matter protest.
What Reeve, and her spouse Carley Knox (who is also the Lynx’s vice president of business operations) have attempted to instill in their three-year old son is a sense of respect for strong women.
I’ve heard stories about boys saying, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a Lynx,’ not knowing at that age…The most powerful thing we do is show boys strong powerful women at a young age. When they grow up, become leaders, their mind-set is different.
The article also mentioned how Reeve has had a hand in turning around the careers of Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, and Lindsay Whalen. Augustus was a scorer but had not won many games. Whalen had been to a pair of WNBA Finals, and Brunson was encouraged by Reeve to add a three-point shot to her skillset.
Whalen also recalled a conversation with Reeve that propelled her to a career where she has since won four WNBA titles – the latest of which came this past season.
This conversation changed my life. Changed my professional career.
Reeve was also an integral part in getting her Lynx players to keep their focus despite being down two games to one in the WNBA Finals to the Los Angeles Sparks – the team that controversially topped the Lynx the previous season.
Her players maintained their poise to win Game 4 in Los Angeles and Game 5 at Williams Arena (where they played since Xcel Energy Center was unavailable and the Target Center was in the final stages of renovations for the upcoming Timberwolves season). When all was said and done, the Lynx reclaimed their crown.
Whalen expects that even after she retires, she will still ask Reeve for advice.
I’m sure we’ll meet for a couple cold…waters quite often.