Besides the amazing talent, the fans are the coolest thing about the WNBA. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with different fans via social. I believe the stories of how those fans came to enjoy the WNBA are important.
This next WNBALove Story comes from a Minnesota Lynx fan that has been a season ticket holder since 2006! He was one of my first follows when I started to use my Twitter for WNBALove. I had the pleasure of meeting him at last year’s WNBA All-Star game in Minnesota and I love his smooth velvety voice. Please enjoy this next WNBALove Story from Ben and give him a follow @mntwins020733 on the Twitter.
“January 27th, 2002 is where my fandom started for Women’s college basketball. My aunt who is good family friends with the Whalen family, was given free tickets to the game, the game was supposed to be played in the 2,000 seat Sports Pavilion, but a few days before the game some of the water pipes exploded and damaged the floor so bad it wasn’t able to be repaired in time for the game. The Gophers were trying to get that game to be the longest attended game the theme was Pack the Pav, well with the Pav out of commission they changed the game of the theme of the game to, Ride the Wave to Williams. It was the first time in 27 years that the Gopher Women’s basketball team would play a game in Williams Arena. So, my aunt got seats from Whalen’s mom, so our seats were SUPER good right behind the Gophers bench a few rows back. This was ALSO my first ever women’s college basketball game. Seeing Lindsay Whalen and a Freshman who had BRIGHT bleach blond hair, Janel McCarville. It was easy to cheer for, those two had chemistry from the start. The Gophers ended up beating Indiana that afternoon, it was their first game at Williams and to this day they still play there. Now with Whalen on the sidelines as head coach. I was hooked on the Gophers and women’s college basketball from then on. The next couple years while Lindsay played at the U.
I was able and fortunate to be able to travel with my aunt to a couple of the Gophers Thanksgiving tournaments, which took us to Colorado Spring and Freeport Bahamas. I also went to several of the Big Ten Tournaments as well. During Whalen’s senior year, I went to the Elite Eight game in Norfolk, when they ended up knocking off the #1 Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the first ever Final Four for the Gophers. I suppose I owe Lindsay a Thank you as she was the one who got me hooked on Women’s college basketball and well after she graduated the WNBA. I have had Lynx season tickets since 2006. I have seen a lot, a lot of losing and a lot of winning and a few Championships along the way. I have also made MANY MANY good friends through following this AMAZING sport. So to that I say Thank you Lindsay, without those tickets to the first game at Williams on January 27th, 2002, who knows If I would have gotten into this sport.”