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Speaking Up

A Conversation with Josh Okogie and Ryan Saunders

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx partnered with the Minneapolis Foundation to pursue justice, equity, and healing in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders and player Josh Okogie connected with Chanda to discuss how sports have shaped their perspectives on racial justice, how they’re using their leadership and platforms for good, and why silence is not an option.

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About Our Guests

Josh Okogie

Josh Okogie is a guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He joined the team in 2018 and was the sixth-youngest player in Timberwolves history to start a regular season game. In the 2019-20 NBA season, Josh played 62 games, averaging 8.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals in 25 minutes per game.

Before playing for the Timberwolves, Josh attended Georgia Tech where he played basketball and majored in business administration. During his time there, he accumulated 1,033 points and scored in double digits in 38 of his last 40 games.

Josh was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He started playing basketball at age 8 for fun. You can follow Josh on Twitter and Instagram. His handle is CallMe_NonStop.



Ryan Saunders

Ryan Saunders was named Head Coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves on May 20, 2019, compiling a 19-45 record in his first season at the helm. Ryan emphasizes a player-centric, forward-thinking environment to bring out the best in each of his players and to establish a culture conducive to building a championship-driven team.

Before joining Minnesota’s staff, Ryan spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards, where he worked on the development of four-time All-Star John Wall, among others. He also played a key role in game preparation for upcoming opponents, creating extensive scouting reports and statistical analysis. Before making the jump to the NBA, Ryan worked on Tubby Smith’s staff at the University of Minnesota. A University of Minnesota graduate, Ryan played four seasons at Minnesota where he was a two-time captain, four-time scholar athlete award winner, and 2006 Big Ten All-Academic selection.

Ryan brings an analytical background to Minnesota’s coaching staff in addition to his player development background. He is the co-founder of Gametime Concepts, which focuses on in-game analysis and statistical probabilities and is used by many NBA and NCAA teams.