Whalen, West Win WNBA All-Star Game

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Go Gophers! Lindsay Whalen
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!
Former Golden Gopher standout Lindsay Whalen helped the West defeat the East, 102-98, in the WNBA All-Star Game at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., Saturday. The guard, who was the first player off the bench for the West, scored eight points in 13 minutes of work.

Trailing 43-49 at halftime, the West rallied in the fourth quarter, scoring 28 points while holding the East to just 17 for the victory.

The game was coached by two women for the first time in its 11-year history, with Lin Dunn of Indiana coaching the East and Cheryl Reeve of Minnesota coaching the West.

Reeve had four Minnesota Lynx players on her West squad, as Moore and Seimone Augustus were voted as starters and Reeve chose Lynx center Rebekkah Brunson to replace Britney Griner in the starting lineup.

Whalen was the first sub in for the West, replacing Diana Taurasi. That produced four Lynx players, who also were on the 2011 All-Star team, on the court at the same time.

The four Lynx stars combined for 24 of the West's 29 points in the first quarter.

Former Gopher Whalen Named WNBA All-Star

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Go Gophers! Lindsay Whalen
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!
Former Golden Gopher standout Lindsay Whalen was voted by the league's head coaches as a reserve for the 2013 Western Conference All-Star Team, the WNBA announced late Tuesday night. Whalen, who starred for the University of Minnesota women's basketball team from 2001-04, will be making her third-career All-Star appearance after having been a part of the event in both 2006 and 2011.

Whalen will be joined on the squad by Minnesota Lynx teammates Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore and Rebekkah Brunson, as well as head coach Cheryl Reeve and assistants Shelley Patterson and Jim Petersen. It is the second time in franchise history that the Lynx have had four representatives in the All-Star Game (2011) and just the sixth time in WNBA hisotyr that a team has had four or more All-Stars. The Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game will be nationally broadcast on ABC this Saturday, July 27 at 2:30 p.m. CT from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Whalen is having arguably the best season in her 10-year career, averaging a career-best 16.1 points per game while handing out 5.3 assists (fourth in WNBA). She's been especially hot of late, averaging 19.6 points and 5.7 assists per game over her last nine, including leading the Lynx in scoring in five or the past eight games. Whalen tallied 20+ points in four straight games between July 9 and 19, including becoming the first player in WNBA history with multiple 25+ point/10+ assist games against Tulsa on July 13 with a 25-point, 11-assist performance.

While at Minnesota, Whalen was a two-time Wade Trophy and Naismith Award finalist. As a senior, she was named to the Kodak All-America First Team, the USBWA All-America Second Team and the AP All-America Second Team. Whalen led Minnesota to its first Final Four Appearance in 2004, one of three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances for the Golden Gophers, before being selected fourth overall in the 2004 WNBA Draft.

She holds Minnesota career records in points, scoring average, games in double figures, free throws made and free throw percentage.

Happy 4th of July from Gopher Women's Basketball

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Happy Fourth of July from the Minnesota women's basketball team! As we celebrate the freedom of our great country, the Golden Gophers share with fans their Fourth of July traditions and what they are planning to do this year. Here's wishing all our Gopher fans out there a safe and happy holiday!

Mikayla Bailey: My Fourth of July tradition is spending it with my family, because it is my dad's birthday on the 4th and we usually go on our boat for the day.

Rachel Banham: My favorite Fourth of July tradition is to hang with my family and eat food, and chill and watch a movie. I don't know what I'm doing for the Fourth this year.

Joanna Hedstrom: My favorite Fourth of July traditions include going up to my cabin with my family and watching fireworks from the boat or in town!  This year we plan on going to Canterbury Park to enjoy the Fourth of July festivities there.

Kayla Hirt: My favorite thing about the Fourth of July is being able to spend the day outside in the sun and grill. I love late night fireworks as well! This year I will be going home and spending the day with my family, hopefully to spend some time on the lake, grill and watch the fireworks. :)

Jackie Johnson: My favorite Fourth of July tradition was spending the week at my Grandma and Grandpa's cabin, going tubing, jet skiing, going to the town carnival and lighting off tons of fireworks with my family. Growing up I did this every year until I started traveling for AAU and summer basketball. This year my plans are to go to my friend's lake house!

Stabresa McDaniel: My family and I just enjoy our time together, have a cookout and try to find a place to pop firecrackers. This time, in Minnesota, I just plan on hanging with my teammates and making new traditions with them.

Shayne Mullaney:
When I was younger, my family would go jet-skiing on a lake in Eden Prairie and have a picnic. It was so fun!  Then at night we would eat dinner at Bayside on Lake Minnetonka and watch the fireworks on the lake. This would always be a tradition for Fourth of July, but lately it has changed because a few of my siblings are in California and I have three nephews now so it changes on a yearly basis.

This year for the Fourth I might be going to my boyfriend's cabin or to my friends lake house. Either way I hope to be near water and outside enjoying the sun!  I always watch the fireworks every year too.  This year I want to watch them near the Stone Arch Bridge if I stay in Minnesota.  I don't know how this year Fourth of July will turn out, but I know it will be fun! (:

Sari Noga:
My family doesn't really have specific Fourth of July traditions, but usually we have a family reunion around that time of year, which I enjoy seeing my extended family. My favorite thing to do on the Fourth of July is to be on a lake, light off fireworks and have family time. This year I am unsure of our plans, but hopefully they involve water!

Micaella Riche: Well being Canadian, we celebrate Canada day July 1st. I used to love going downtown and watching all the street performers with my brothers. This year, I don't know how I will spend it yet, but it will most likely involve exercise physiology homework..! Gotta love being a student-athlete!

Amanda Zahui B.: I have never celebrated the Fourth of July and I have no idea what I am going to do. Hopefully, I'll eat some good food and hang out with my teammates.

Kelly Roysland: I love spending the 4th of July with my family at our cabin on Lake Bemidji. I plan on spending time golfing, waterskiing, hanging out with my cousins, taking a bike ride around the lake and grilling out. Happy 4th of July to all!

Deborah Edwards: I love the 4th of July more than ever, because last year I was married on July 6 - so this time of year always reminds me of our wedding day.  What a great holiday!  It's our own patriotic anniversary!  This year we will be celebrating by cooking out and spending time with our family in Rochester.

Banham Nominated for BTN Most Courageous Performance Award

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Go Gophers! Rachel BanhamGo Gophers!
BTN announced Monday that it is set to recognize the best of Big Ten sports in 2012-13 when it airs its sixth annual BTN Awards Show Wednesday, June 26 at 7:00 p.m. CT, and University of Minnesota women's basketball guard Rachel Banham is among the nominees for the network's Most Courageous Performance award.

Banham was sidelined for three months leading up to the 2012-13 season after doctors discovered a blood clot in her lung last July, but the adversity seemed to have little effect on the guard, as she would finish her sophomore campaign as the Big Ten's regular-season scoring champion and would be named First Team All-Big Ten by the league's head coaches. Banham was also honored as a WBCA All-America Honorable Mention selection and WBCA All-Region 6 after posting five games of 30 or more points and 16 games with 20 or more points.

Along with her list of awards, Banham became just the third sophomore Gopher to reach the 1,000-point milestone when she scored 37 points vs. Illinois on Jan. 28, and also surpassed former Gopher great Lindsay Whalen for the most points scored through a sophomore season with her 1,093rd-career point on Feb. 7 vs. Iowa.

With 1,243 career points, Banham ranks 14th all-time on Minnesota's career record chart, and also ranks fourth in games in double figures (64) and 10th in three-point field goals made (110). Banham also ranks fourth on Minnesota's single-season record chart with her 663 points scored in 2013.

All nominees for the Most Courageous Performance Award are below:
Rachel Banham, Minnesota women's basketball - sidelined for month after a blood clot was discovered in her lung last summer, she bounced back to earn First Team All-Big Ten honors.
Jack Hoffman, Nebraska fan - 7-year old brain cancer patient ran for a 69-yard touchdown at Nebraska's 2013 spring game. 
Robert Marve, Purdue football - overcame his third career ACL injury and returned to help the Boilermakers win their final three game and reach bowl eligibility.
Drey Mingo, Purdue women's basketball - suffered an ACL tear during the 2011-12 season. She came back this spring and led the Boilermakers to the Big Ten Tournament Championship where she was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Minnesota is also nominated in two additional categories, including Women's Coach of the Year (Brad Frost, women's hockey) and women's team of the year (women's hockey).

Borton to be Honored, Give Back this Week

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University of Minnesota head women's basketball coach Pam Borton has prided herself on making contributions to the University community and communities throughout the state of Minnesota during her time as head coach, and this week Borton will not only give back to the community, but will also be honored for her community service efforts.

Borton's week begins tonight at the Ann Bancroft Foundation's 2013 dreamXchange at the McNamara Alumni Center starting at 5:30, where she will be paired with a past grant winner to partake in a Q&A session. It is the 16th annual benefit celebration of the Ann Bancroft Foundation, whose mission is to create a world where every girl has a chance to live her wild dream and reach her full potential.

Borton was a recipient of the Ann Bancroft Foundation's Dream Maker Award in 2011, which paid tribute to her leadership and contributions in the effort to encourage the achievements of girls and women.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to AnnBancroftFoundation.org.

Borton will also be honored by Minnesota Business Magazine Thursday night as one of the publication's "The (Real) Power 50," a list of the 50 most important people to know if you wish to conduct business in the state of Minnesota. Borton and the additional 49 award winners will be showcased in the event at The Westin Edina Galleria and will also be featured in the magazine's May 2013 issue.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to MinnesotaBusiness.com/mnbizpower50.

The head coach concludes her busy week on Thursday, May 2, when she will serve as the keynote speaker for the Third Annual Wellness Rocks event at Seven in Minneapolis. All proceeds from the event go to the Cancer Survivor Wellness Fund.

The Cancer Survivors Wellness Fund is a charitable fund administered by the Fairview Foundation. The purpose of the Cancer Survivor Wellness Fund is to help survivors transitioning from treatment to post-treatment by providing funding to support exercise and wellness programs.  

For those living with a cancer diagnosis, exercise and wellness have measurable improvements on cognitive and physical function, as well as reduced recurrence of disease. Exercise and wellness programs for survivors are an important step in preventative wellness and launch survivors on a lifelong journey of empowerment.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to CancerSurvivorWellnessFund.org.

Borton to Speak at TeamWomenMN Leadership Conference

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University of Minnesota women's basketball head coach Pam Borton is scheduled to speak at the TeamWomenMN Leadership Conference on Friday, April 12 at Golden Valley Country Club. The theme of the conference is "Empowering Leadership" and will feature a keynote address from Martha Nevanen, VP of the Pohlad Companies.

Borton, who is the President and co-founder of TeamWomenMN, will open the event at 10:00 a.m. with a "pregame talk", before participating in the remainder of the event schedule.

Also scheduled to participate in the event are Grayce Belvedere Young, Margaret Murphy, Cheryl Reeve, Joy Frestedt, Hannah Ubl, Tammie Follett, Colleen Needles Steward, Sara Beatty Ratner, Lindsey Bruber, Roshini Rajkumar and Janee Harteau.

Complete Schedule of Events
9:00 AM               Registration
10:00 AM            
"Pre-Game Talk"

Pam Borton & Keynote Speaker Martha Nevanen, Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Communications, Pohlad Companies

10:45 AM            
Networking "Time-Out"
11:00 AM            
"Charting Your Career Path"

Grayce Belvedere Young, President of the Prouty Project & Margaret Murphy,
President and COO of Olson
12:30 PM            
"Half-Time Talk"

Lunch with Cheryl Reeve, Head Coach, Minnesota Lynx

1:30 PM               
TeamWomenMN Mentoring and Teaching Programs

Moderated by Joy Frestedt, President, Alimentix

2:15 PM               
Networking "Time-Out"
2:30 PM               
"Leading Across Generations"

Workshop by Hannah Ubl, Generations Expert & Millenial Speaker, BridgeWorks

3:20 PM               
Leadership Panel

Moderated by Tammie Follett, Sr. Account Manager & Business Development Specialist, Thomson Reuters


Colleen Needles Steward, President & CEO, Tremendous Entertainment; Former WCCO Anchor

Sara Beatty Ratner, President, NeoPath

Lindsey Bruber, President & Owner, Simek's

Roshini Rajkumar, Communication Coach & Radio Host

4:00 PM                "Post-Game Talk"
Networking Happy Hour, Kickoff remarks by JaneƩ Harteau, Chief of Police, Minneapolis

Fast Break Club Coach's Club Reception Tonight

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The University of Minnesota women's basketball staff is set to attend the Fast Break Club Coach's Club Reception tonight at Jax Cafe in Northeast Minneapolis. The event will get underway at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 8:30 p.m.

The reception is for members of the Fast Break Club who give at a level of $150 or higher, which includes the Coaches Club, Elite Eight and Final Four levels.

Special guest and former Gopher standout Lindsay Whalen and her husband Ben Greve are expected to attend the event.

2012-13 Gophers Women's Basketball Bloopers

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The Minnesota women's basketball team filmed numerous videos during the 2012-13 season that were used during home games, on Gophersports.com and on Twitter and Facebook. The end products used the best shots and were always professionally produced, but the Gophers had a lot more fun with the videos than their fans were able to see.

With 2012-13 coming to a close, Gophersports.com gives fans an inside look at some of the best bloopers from the year. Check out all of the fun that the team experiences behind the scenes!

Travel Blog: Former Gophers Travel to the Tournament

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Friday, March 8 - 3:00 p.m.

Minnesota suffered a tough loss to Ohio State on Thursday night, but the Big Ten Tournament still provided a chance for the team, fans and former players to connect. Some former Gophers traveled to Hoffman Estates to see their old team play. Zoe Harper, Kristen Dockery and China Antoine all met up to watch some basketball and spend the weekend together. Brittany McCoy was also in attendance.

Go Gophers! China Antoine
Go Gophers!
Antoine was one of the former Gophers in attendance.
Go Gophers!

Harper plays professional basketball in Australia and works for a logistics company, Dockery works at a fitness club, and Antoine works in corporate fitness. All three visited our hotel after the game on Thursday.

Before they had an opportunity to reconnect with former Gophers, the current Gophers had a game to play. It was pretty quiet when we returned to Sears Centre, as the arena had cleared out after the second game of the day. It started getting louder as tipoff approached.

The Minnesota pep band, cheerleaders and Goldy all traveled to the tournament to help encourage the Gophers. Family, friends and loyal fans formed a loud cheering section behind the Minnesota bench. A Gopher pep band member even won the halftime "Simon says" competition.

After the Buckeyes had won the game, we all had dinner back at the hotel. It was nice to be able to sleep another night in Hoffman Estates and fly back to Minneapolis in the morning. We got back safely on Friday afternoon. Thanks to everyone who supported the team on this road trip.

Thursday, March 7 - 1:15 p.m.

Game day has arrived for the Gophers at the Big Ten Tournament. After a delicious breakfast this morning, the Gophers had a walk-through to go over some last preparations for Ohio State. Overall, it was a relaxing morning at the hotel.

Go Gophers! Katie Loberg
Go Gophers!
Loberg is ready for her final Big Ten Tournament.
Go Gophers!

Most of the travel party loaded the bus to take a first look at the inside of the Sears Centre. We arrived before the first game, Iowa vs. Northwestern, tipped off. The Sears Centre is a relatively new multi-purpose facility. Its other uses include indoor football and soccer. Based on our walk to our seats for the first game, it seemed like the concourses were nice and wide for the fans.

We watched most of the first half of the game before heading back out to the bus. Iowa's pep band and mascot, who were close to where we sat, also provided some entertainment.

This will be the last Big Ten Tournament in a Gopher uniform for Minnesota seniors Katie Loberg and Leah Cotton. Loberg has liked her stay in Hoffman Estates so far, and is ready to get on the court.

"I'm pretty excited for this," Loberg said. "You kind of get this new spark of energy whenever the Big Ten Tournament rolls around. I'm wide awake and ready to win."

The Gophers have beaten Ohio State twice this season and will try to make it a three-peat tonight in the 8-seed vs. 9-seed game. The winner will face 1-seed Penn State tomorrow. Tonight's game will appear on BTN at 6 p.m. CT.

Wednesday, March 6 - 9:30 p.m.

As the Big Ten Tournament slogan says, "March is on." One of the most fun sports months of the year has begun. The Minnesota women's basketball team is part of the excitement, with its first conference tournament game against Ohio State at 6 p.m. tomorrow.

Go Gophers! Rachel Banham
Go Gophers!
Banham and the Gophers arrived in Hoffman Estates today.
Go Gophers!

The Golden Gophers arrived in Hoffman Estates, Ill., Wednesday evening. A travel party of players, coaches and team and department staff (including athletics director Norwood Teague) caught a chartered flight to Midway Airport this afternoon. After a nice short plane trip, we bused to our hotel. We passed the Sears Centre, which is hosting the tournament, on the way.

A few other teams are staying in the same hotel, and Big Ten school balloons and banners adorn the lobby area. Our room keys even have the Big Ten Tournament logo on them.

After the team meal and film session, Rachel Banham had a chance to reunite with one of her former teammates from Lakeville North High School, Cassie Rochel. Rochel is a junior for the Wisconsin Badgers, who are staying in the same hotel. The two met in the lobby to catch up.

"I'm glad that we're able to be with them, especially because there are only three teams here," Banham said. "We were texting all day wanting to meet up. I think it's fun that she's in this tournament so I can watch her and hope she does well, and just be around her again."

Wisconsin is on the opposite side of the bracket from Minnesota, so the high school teammates would both need to make the title game to face each other again this season. Right now, the Gophers' focus is on tomorrow night's game against Ohio State.

"I think we're all really pumped," Banham. "It's going to be a big game tomorrow. We've beaten them twice. It's hard to beat a team three times. They know what to expect, and we know how they play. I think we're all really prepared and we're ready just to get out there tomorrow and play."

Gophers Learn From the Best

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Photo Gallery

Can you believe it?! March Madness is already upon us, and with the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament just days away, Minnesota women's basketball head coach Pam Borton found a special way to get her team into the spirit of the season. She brought two people into practice that not only know what it takes to make it to the NCAA Final Four, but did so in a Golden Gopher uniform - Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville.

The two former Minnesota standouts will be reunited as teammates on the hardwood this summer for the Minnesota Lynx, but on Tuesday afternoon they were back together on the court at Williams Arena. The pair shared some words of wisdom with the Gophers prior to the start of practice, before giving them a few lessons on the court. The day's practice came to a close with Whalen and McCarville each sharing their most memorable experiences from their college days at Minnesota.  

Not only was it great for the Gophers to have two of the top WNBA players in the country face-off with them in practice, but it motivated them knowing that Whalen and McCarville were in their same shoes just a few short years ago and changed the landscape of the Minnesota women's basketball program forever.    


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