Born May 9, 1982 in Hutchinson, Minnesota, Lindsay Marie Whalen is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA. She began her pro career as a point guard for the Connecticut Sun, and has played for Galatasaray. Whalen has won World and Olympic titles with the United States women’s national basketball team, as well as a WNBA title with the Lynx.
High school career
At Hutchinson High School in Hutchinson, Minnesota, Whalen was a four-time All-Minnesota Conference pick, and led her team to three consecutive conference basketball championships. She was also a four-time honorable mention All-State selection. She averaged 22.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists as a junior.
Whalen in 2010
Whalen was selected the first round of the 2004 WNBA Draft (4th overall) by the Connecticut Sun. Until 2005 when Minnesota teammate Janel McCarville was selected at number 1, she was the highest drafted WNBA player ever from the Big Ten Conference. The Minnesota Lynx made an unsuccessful pre-draft trade, sending Sheri Sam and Janell Burse to the Seattle Storm for Amanda Lassiter and the 6th pick in the draft in an attempt to get hometown hero Whalen. Connecticut picked Whalen before Minnesota could, and the Storm had two more pieces to their eventual championship team.
In her rookie season, she was selected to play in the historic WNBA vs. USA Basketball gameat Radio City Music Hall. She led the Sun to the WNBA Finals in her first and second seasons, playing while injured in the 2005 Finals.
In the 2008 season, Whalen led a young team to second place in the Eastern Conference. She was the MVP runner-up to Candace Parker. She was selected to the First Team All-WNBA for the first time in her career. In the playoffs, the Sun could not hold off the New York Liberty as they fell 2–1. Whalen led the league in assists with 5.4 per game.
On January 12, 2010, Whalen was traded to the Minnesota Lynx in a deal that also involved Renee Montgomery. She signed a multi-year contract extension with the Minnesota Lynx prior to the team’s Aug. 12, 2010 matchup with the Los Angeles Sparks. Terms of the deal were not announced, per team policy.
In 2011, Whalen led the Lynx to its first WNBA Championship. The Lynx finished the regular season 27–7, good for the best record in franchise history and best in the league. Playing alongside a healthy Seimon Augustus and rookie sensation Maya Moore, Whalen led the WNBA in assists with 5.9 per game. Whalen finished fifth in MVP voting and was named First Team WNBA for the second time in her career.
Whalen was invited to the USA Basketball Women’s National Team training camp in the fall of 2009. The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics is usually chosen from these participants. She played with them at the FIBA World Championships in Prague, earning her first gold medal.
Whalen was named by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the USA at the 2012 Olympics in London. Whalen earned praise for her performance at the Olympics, especially for a critical stretch of play against Australia in the semifinal. Whalen earned her first Olympic medal as the U.S. women swept all eight games they played, with an average margin of victory over 34 points per game.
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