The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport recently hosted a discussion on the topic of building leaders and champions, both in sports and in life. “A Great Conversation” offered insights from former Gopher star and current Minnesota Lynx player Lindsay Whalen and Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve and was moderated by Tucker Center director Mary Jo Kane, Ph.D. The WBNA is a highly visible and successful arena where women’s leadership is on display. These highly accomplished leaders shared personal stories and experiences, as well as insights and strategies, on what it takes to build leaders and champions, both in sports and in life.
Lindsay Whalen, a native of Hutchinson, MN, led the U of M women’s basketball program to national prominence during her career. She is the first Golden Gopher to earn All-America honors in three different seasons and lead the U of M to its first-ever Final Four appearance. She’s a two-time Wade Trophy and Naismith Award finalist and a unanimous selection for All-Big Ten First Team in 2002-04. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten, Whalen’s jersey was retired in 2005. She began her pro career in the WNBA as a first-round pick in 2004, and in 2011, returned to Minnesota where she helped lead the Lynx to three WNBA titles. Whalen is only the second player in WNBA history to record 4,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,000 rebounds. She won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and a FIBA World Championship in Turkey in 2014.
Cheryl Reeve attended La Salle University where she led her basketball team to a national ranking and was selected All-Metro Atlantic Conference and All-Big 5 during her senior year. Her coaching resume includes 27 years as an assistant and head coach at the collegiate and WNBA levels, including stints at Indiana State, George Washington University, the Charlotte Sting and Detroit Shock. Lynx head coach since 2010, Reeve has guided the team to three WNBA titles, and amassed an overall record of 141-64, the most wins in franchise history and the highest winning percentage in the WNBA. Named the WNBA Coach of the Year in 2011, Reeve served as assistant head coach when the U.S. women captured gold at the Summer Olympics in 2012. Reeve has also excelled academically. As an undergraduate at La Salle, she was a Rhodes Scholar nominee and received an NCAA Post-graduate Scholarship to pursue her Master’s degree in management information systems.
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