MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are always interesting stories that come out of local professional training camps.
For the Minnesota Lynx, it is Carlie Wagner. We first became aware of her when she was leading her New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva High School team — a legend in her prep career.
When she played four years for the Gophers, she was being watched by the local team.
“I am a season-ticket member over there, and any chance I get I go over, and in addition to practices, so I feel like I have watched her for a long time,” said Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve.
It was there she honed her game and flourished.
“Coach [Marlene] Stollings did a good job. I think she made me a much better basketball player than when I came in, and got me a little bit ready for this stuff, and so that was huge for me as well,” Wagner said.
She has got her shot now as a member of the Lynx.
“She always was an eye-contact person, she always positive response, and then go execute,” Reeve said.
The goal is do it well enough that she wins a spot, which is not easy on a championship roster.
“I just got to work my butt off [laughs]! That’s what it’s going to come down to,” Wagner said. “I got to do the nitty gritty, I got to work hard, I got to really absorb things and learn it as we’re going and apply it and, you know, just go play some good basketball.”
She has already achieved one bucket-list item: She can call the legendary Lindsey Whalen a teammate.
“It’s awesome,” Wagner said. “I mean, I’d never thought I’d have the opportunity to, you know, call her a teammate, so it’s super exciting. She’s like a mentor, honestly. She’s out there, always helping me out, coaching me, telling me what to do, giving me advice and, you know, just always, like, keeping my head up with confidence and stuff.”
The Lynx open the season Sunday, May 20 at Target Center against their archrival, the Los Angeles Sparks. Tipoff is at 4 p.m.