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Sun to retire Whalen’s jersey at halftime of upcoming game on August 23

Lindsay Whalen played her first six seasons in the WNBA in Connecticut, leading the Sun to WNBA finals in 2004 and 2005. Her number will be retired by the team at halftime of the upcoming game against Las Vegas on August 23. 

The Connecticut Sun will retire Lindsay Whalen’s jersey number on Friday, August 23 when the Sun host the Las Vegas Aces at 7:30 p.m.

Whalen’s No. 13 will be the fourth number to be retired by the Sun in the rafters high above the floor at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Whalen’s number will join Margo Dydek (12), Nykesha Sales (42) and Katie Douglas (23) during a special halftime ceremony.

Whalen led the Sun to a pair of Eastern Conference championships and appearances in the WNBA finals in 2004 and 2005. She will participate in a special question-and-answer session moderated by broadcaster LaChina Robinson on the court after the ceremony. Douglas and Sales will join Whalen on the court for the ceremony.

Selected by the Sun with the fourth overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft, Whalen spent six seasons in Connecticut before being traded to the Minnesota Lynx prior to the 2010 season. Connecticut went to the playoffs five times in six seasons with Whalen.

With the Sun, Whalen played in 197 games, scoring 2,290 points (12.3 ppg). Her 964 assists (4.6 apg) in a Sun uniform still leads the Connecticut record books by over 200 assists.

“Lindsay Whalen is a legend – one of the greatest point guards and competitors to ever step on the court,” said Amber Cox, vice president of Sports at Mohegan Sun. “She was not only instrumental in leading the Sun to two appearances in the WNBA Finals, but she put professional women’s basketball on the map in Connecticut. She helped establish one of the most loyal fan bases in the WNBA, many of whom are still a part of the Sun family today. We’re excited to welcome her back to where her pro career started so our Sun family can celebrate all she’s meant to our franchise.”

The Minnesota Lynx made no secret of their desire to obtain Whalen during the six seasons that the Minnesota native played in Connecticut. Whalen was a high school basketball star in Minnesota who helped put University of Minnesota women’s basketball on the map by leading the school to the NCAA Final Four in 2004.

The Lynx finally put the right deal together in January 2010 when the Lynx swapped the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft and former UConn guard Renee Montgomery to the Sun for Whalen and the No. 2 pick in the draft. The Sun used that No. 1 pick to draft UConn All-American Tina Charles.

Whalen excelled in Minnesota, winning four WNBA championships with the Lynx (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017) before retiring after the 2017 season and 15 seasons in the WNBA. She was a five-time All-WNBA player and won more games than any other player in WNBA history (325). With Whalen, the Lynx went to the WNBA Finals six times.

She helped the United States win two Olympic gold medals (2012, 2016) and two world championships (2010, 2014). She is now the head coach at her alma mater, the University of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Lynx also retired Whalen’s No. 13 jersey in June – the first jersey to be retired in team history.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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