Lindsay Whalen marked as finalist for Basketball Hall of Fame

Lindsay Whalen previewed the 2021-22 Gophers women's basketball season on Tuesday after the team's first official practice. (FILE)

Minnesota basketball legend Lindsay Whalen has taken the next step towards possible basketball immortality – named a first time finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Whalen, the Gopher women’s basketball head coach and Hutchinson, Minn. native, had stellar collegiate career with the Gophers. She helped lead the Gophers to their only Final Four appearance so far in program history in 2004. Her number 13 jersey is retired and now hangs in the rafters at Williams Arena.

Whalen’s 15-year WNBA career started in Connecticut with the Sun and triumphantly ended back home in Minnesota where she won four WNBA Championships with the Lynx, and was a six-time WNBA All-Star. Whalen also won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA and two World Championship gold medals. 

Whalen is one of two first-time finalists; the other is four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili.

Others who are finalists are referee Hugh Evans; former NBA stars Michael Cooper and Tim Hardaway; former NCAA Player of the Year Marques Johnson; coaches Bob Huggins, Marianne Stanley and George Karl; ex-WNBA All-Star Swin Cash; and the winningest high school coach in U.S. history, Leta Andrews.

The Hall of Fame’s class of 2022 will be announced in April at the Final Four in New Orleans. The induction ceremony will be held Sept. 9-10, 2022, in Springfield, Mass.