(CBS Local)– The 2020 WNBA season will be one unlike any other with all of the players in a bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida and Minnesota Lynx point guard Crystal Dangerfield is getting a major opportunity to contribute to her team.
The former UCONN star and 2020 second round pick was thrust into the starting lineup after multiple injuries to Karima Christmas-Kelly, who tore her Achillies and Lexie Brown, who sustained a concussion. Minnesota has won two of its first three games and Dangerfield has been a big reason why. The point guard is excited about the opportunity for the Lynx this summer.
“I was in Minnesota for two weeks and then we traveled as a team to Florida. I did some training with my coaches and I wasn’t able to see the city like I wanted to,” said Dangerfield in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “Training camp was two weeks, but it was a different kind than everyone is used to. We just want to focus on gelling as a team as much as possible. We want to make sure we put out a better product each time we touch the floor.”
Dangerfield became the first Lynx rookie to start a game for the team since 2009. The point guard says one of the biggest adjustments from the college game to the pros is getting to know a whole new group of teammates. Dangerfield has especially enjoyed getting to know and play with Sylvia Fowles, who recently broke the WNBA record for most career rebounds.
“It’s been awesome, I’ve been watching her [Sylvia] since I was younger,” said Dangerfield. “The first time I saw her in person, she gave me the biggest hug and picked me up and everything. She is just that kind of person and they call her Sweet Syl. She cares about you as a person and she is going to push you as a teammate. It’s been a great energy around her.”
While Dangerfield is focused on the task at hand on the court, she and her Lynx teammates are constantly thinking about the city of Minnesota off the court. It’s been two months since the death of George Floyd and the Lynx rookie says she loves that the city and the league are taking the conversation around racial injustice seriously.
“It’s very unique and to see all the players using their voices and platforms and they haven’t stayed silent,” said Dangerfield. “They’ve stayed working and we have a Zoom meeting just about every day of the week while we’re here about things we can do to stay active. We have the shirts and we are still having very important conversations among our team, the police department, the mayor and everything. We’re working behind the scenes some and then out there a lot more vocal. Everyone is allowed to express themselves however they want.”
The Lynx take on the Connecticut Sun Saturday at 3 p.m. CST.