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Gophers, Lynx star becomes first ballot Hall of Famer

Lindsay Whalen, who rewrote records at both the University of Minnesota and in the WNBA, was officially announced as an inductee of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen (13) celebrates a basket in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Sparks in game two of the WNBA Finals at Target Center. The Minnesota Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks 79-60.

MINNEAPOLIS β€” One of the best athletes in Minnesota's history will now be enshrined at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Lindsay Whalen, who rewrote records at both the University of Minnesota and in the WNBA during her 15-year career, was officially announced as a first-ballot Basketball Hall of Fame member for the Class of 2022.

Whalen is currently the head coach for Minnesota's women's basketball team and just signed a contract extension with the university. In 2018, after she retired from the WNBA, Whalen was named the head coach of her former team.

While a senior at Hutchinson High School, Whalen committed to the University of Minnesota. There, she went onto rewrite much of Minnesota's record books in the early 2000s. Whalen led the Gophers to an appearance in the Women's Final Four and ended her colligate career as Minnesota's all-time points leader, second all-time in assists and third all-time in steals.

After playing the first five seasons of her career with the Connecticut Sun, Whalen signed with the Minnesota Lynx, where she would go onto win four WNBA championships (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017). Whalen retired from the WNBA  as the league's leader in career wins, with 307, and was named to the league's 20th and 25th anniversary teams.

The four-time WNBA champion had her jersey retired by the Minnesota Lynx back in 2019. The Sun also retired her jersey.

Whalen also won Olympic gold medals in women's basketball at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games.

Also selected this year were former WNBA champion and two-time college national champion Swin Cash; former NBA coach George Karl; long-time college coach Bob Huggins, four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili; five time All-Star Tim Hardaway; NCAA national championship coach and former WNBA Coach of the Year Marianne Stanley, and former NBA official Hugh Evans.

The honorees were announced Saturday in New Orleans at the site of the NCAA Final Four. The class will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Sept. 10.

Ginobili spent his entire 16-year NBA career with San Antonio, winning four NBA championships and twice receiving All-Star nods.

Hardaway played 15 NBA seasons and was a five-time All-Star in the 1990s. Huggins is currently coaching at West Virginia.

Cash, who already has been elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, is currently an executive with the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans. She won two NCAA national titles with Connecticut and a WNBA title with Detroit. She also worked as an executive with the WNBA's New York Liberty.

Karl played in the NBA for five seasons in San Antonio before coaching for 27 years, during which he won 1,175 games β€” placing him sixth all-time. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2013.

Huggins has more than 900 NCAA wins in a college coaching career that began in 1977 and is currently at West Virginia.

Stanley, who is currently a WNBA head coach with Indiana, has spent 45 years in coaching, including 22 years at the college level with Old Dominion, Pennsylvania, Southern California, Stanford and California. She was WNBA coach of the year in 2022, when she also was elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Evans officiated more than 1,900 regular-season games, along with 170 playoff games, 35 NBA Finals games and four NBA All-Star games from 1973 to 2001. He also was the NBA's Assistant Supervisor of Officials for three years after stepping away from on-court officiating.

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