Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Sun
UNCASVILLE - It's no coincidence that the Connecticut Sun have reached the playoffs each year since the team drafted Lindsay Whalen out of the University of Minnesota in 2004 to direct its on-court efforts. An "enemy" in college, when UConn defeated the Gophers 67-58 in the first game of the 2004 Final Four in New Orleans, Lindsay quickly won Connecticut fans over with her energy, attitude and talent, becoming an All-Star and evolving into an elite point guard. Although she plays the same position as Sue Bird, Whalen has become a beloved player in the hearts of Connecticut basketball fans.
A rough-and-tumble player off the court, Lindsay Whalen presents a much different off-court persona.
Off the court, Lindsay will be wed to and her fiancé, Ben Grieve, in October. She took some time out of her busy schedule during the season to discuss her upcoming nuptials.
INSIDE CONNECTICUT SPORTS: How many days until your wedding?
LINDSAY WHALEN: Well it's October 6th, so you do the math.
ICS: Do you have your dress picked out?
ICS: What does it look like?
LW: I can't say!
ICS: Who is in your wedding party?
LW: Emily, my friend from high school; (former Sun player) Jess Brungo; a couple of friends from college; my two sisters, Katie and Annie. My brother is on his (Ben's) side...and my little brother is an usher. He calls himself the "Head Usher."
ICS: Your mom has been out here this week helping you plan the wedding?
LW: Yeah, it's been good. It was a lot of fun. We got a lot of stuff done. It was fun to just hang out and spend time with her. It was cool.
ICS: Church wedding?
LW: Yeah, church wedding.
ICS: Being from Minnesota this is a 50/50 question...are you Lutheran or Catholic?
LW: (chuckle) Catholic.
ICS: Is your dad looking forward to giving you away?
LW: Yeah I think so. It'll be cool.
ICS: What is it like trying to prepare for the wedding while you are busy with the season?
LW: My mom's been helping a lot and Ben's mom has been helping too. And Ben! There's a lot of days when I can't really do a lot of preparations like today when I was stuck in traffic. You gotta work on it here and there and try to balance it.
ICS: Are you going to do the Chicken Dance and the YMCA at the reception?
LW: No. No. We're not going to do any of that stuff, I don't think. Ben and I need to discuss that and decide just how corny some of the songs are going to be.
ICS: So it will be fancy with lots of flowers?
LW: Yeah, it'll be more on the formal side.
ICS: White tie, tails and top hat for Ben?
LW: No. I think more of the basic, classy kind of look.
Reprinted with permission of the Connecticut Sun
The Whalen File
Full Name: Lindsay Marie Whalen
Birthdate: May 9, 1982 in Hutchinson, Minn.
Height: 5 feet 9 inches
Weight: 150 pounds
Position: Point Guard
College: University of Minnesota
On the Jersey: Lindsay wears No. 13
Parents: Neil and Kathy Whalen
Brothers and Sisters: Oldest of five children, with two sisters (Katie and Annie) and two brothers (Thomas and Casey).
Marital Status: Engaged to marry Ben Grieve in October 2007.
Childhood Sports Heroes: Charles Barkley, Jennifer Capriati, Kirby Puckett and Anthony Carter
Lindsay Whalen: Gopher Girl
- Graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2004 with a degree in sports management.
- Gophers had a cumulative record of 78-43 during Lindsay's time there.
- She is the all-time leading scorer in University of Minnesota history -- male or female -- with 2,186 points.
- Scored in double figures in 103 of 108 games in her college career - including 20 or more points 44 times.
- First woman to be named Minneapolis Star Tribune Sportsperson of the Year, beating out Twins' Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana and NBA MVP Kevin Garnett for the honor in December of 2004
- Was the first athlete in University of Minnesota history to have her own bobblehead doll.
Source: University of Minnesota