More Than Basketball
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, the Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves partnered with the Minneapolis Foundation to pursue justice, equity, and healing through our Fund for Safe Communities. Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve and player Napheesa Collier sat down with Chanda to talk about how they weave social justice into their games, how they approach making meaningful change, and why it’s important to speak up for those who don’t have a platform.
Cheryl Reeve is the head coach and general manager for the Minnesota Lynx. At the conclusion of the 2020 WNBA regular season, Cheryl was named Coach of the Year for the third time in her career, tying Van Chancellor and Mike Thibault for most all-time. In 2017, she led the Lynx to a 27-7 record and their fourth WNBA championship in the last seven years. Since taking over as Lynx head coach, Cheryl owns a career 245-117 record, the most coaching wins in franchise history. She was initially named head coach on Dec. 8, 2009.
Additionally, Cheryl’s coaching résumé includes 26 years as both an assistant and a head coach at the collegiate and WNBA levels. She got her start in coaching at her alma matter, La Salle, as an assistant coach for two seasons.
As a player at La Salle, Cheryl led the nationally-ranked Explorers to a 25-5 record in 1987-1988. She was named All-Metro Atlantic Conference and was an All-Big 5 selection as a senior. Cheryl excelled athletically and academically at La Salle, graduating with a degree in computer science/management information systems. A Rhodes Scholar nominee, Cheryl received both a MAAC Scholar-Athlete Post Graduate Award and a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship in 1988. She went on to earn her master’s degree in business administration from her alma mater while also serving two years as an assistant coach for the Explorers.
Napheesa Collier is a guard for the Minnesota Lynx. In 2020, Napheesa was a part of the all-WBNA Second Team and the WNBA All-Defensive Second Team. The 6-1 forward started all 22 games for Minnesota in 2020, averaging 16.1 points (12th in the WNBA), 9.0 rebounds (third), 3.3 assists (19th), 1.82 steals (third) and 1.27 blocks (sixth) in a league-best 34.2 minutes per game.
In 2019, she was named WNBA Rookie of the Year, WNBA All-Star, Western Conference Player of the Week, and Rookie of the Month (July 2019).
Before playing for the Lynx, Napheesa attended UConn and helped them advance to the NCAA Final Four in each of her four seasons on campus. She finished her college career ranked third in school history in points scored (2,401), fourth in rebounds (1,219), seventh in blocks (251), and third in FG accuracy (61.3%).