WNBA Legend Lindsay Whalen Honored at Naismith Hall of Fame

Lindsay Whalen, the pride and joy of Hutchinson, MN, is now a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer.

Over her 15-year playing career as the floor general for the Connecticut Sun and Minnesota Lynx, she made eight WNBA Finals and won four WNBA championships. Whalen is also a five-time All-Star and five-time All-WNBA selection, as well as a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist with USA Basketball.

She averaged 11.5 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 4.9 assists, and 1.0 steals per game over her career, retiring with the fourth most assists in WNBA history. 

“I carried a chip on my shoulder all the time because people thought it can’t be done in Minnesota,” Whalen said, per SI. “I loved to prove people wrong, and that’s how I played.”

Fellow legends Charles Barkley and Dawn Staley were selected as Whalen’s presenters. Both doubled as her favorite basketball players and hugely influenced her game.

“Charles, you were my first favorite basketball player growing up. I was going to be a 6’2, 6’3 power forward with a great turnaround jumper and a rebounding machine, that was until I stopped growing at 5’8,” Whalen said. But plans change a little bit. Thank you for giving inspiration to a young girl from Hutchinson, Minnesota.”

She also honored Dawn Staley and noted that she’d followed a path Staley blazed years prior, going from being a WNBA point guard to head coach of a powerhouse college program. Staley won her second national championship in April, while Whalen is looking to guide Minnesota to national prominence in the Big 10.

Whalen made sure she exalted her parents for instilling a work ethic and dedication in her. Her father, Neil, was her first coach, and the lessons he passed on to her have been integral to her development as a player and a coach throughout her athletic career.

Whalen also thanked her husband, Ben Greve, for supporting her and sticking beside her throughout the rigors of being a women’s professional basketball player.

In an enshrinement speech that primarily reflected on the past, Whalen ended by looking to the future—she even reminded her players at Minnesota that the’d have practice the following week. With Whalen’s work ethic, it would be no surprise if she finds herself back at Springfield for another induction in years to come.