In honor of the 25th anniversary of the inception of the Minnesota Lynx this summer, the organization is recognizing the top 25 players throughout franchise history during the month of March.
Each week of the month, Minnesota is highlighting five players as part of the All-25 Team, accompanied by a social media campaign pointing out their contributions to the Lynx franchise on the court and off.
To be qualified for the Lynx All-25 Team, the honor is strictly statistical and award-based, with the list being comprised of players who have scored more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, started over 50 games, were members of two or more WNBA Championship teams, represented Minnesota in the WNBA All-Star Game or were end-of-season WNBA award winners while playing for the Lynx.
Last week, in the announcement of the third five All-25 players, Betty Lennox, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Tamika Williams, Monica Wright and Teresa Edwards joined the first round and second round of players to bring the total to 15 Lynx.
This week, the Lynx announced the fourth set of players on the All-25 Team. Here’s a look at who made this week’s list.
the fourth set of five.— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) March 27, 2023
4️⃣ » https://t.co/yiShNiNTpz pic.twitter.com/pZuShpX4tp
The first player to make the fourth wave of All-25 Team members is forward Svetlana Abrosimova, who played for the Lynx from 2001-07 and spent a total of 10 seasons in the league. Abrosimova entered the WNBA in 2001 when she was selected by Minnesota with the seventh overall pick out of UConn.
Abrosimova made an immediate impact with the Lynx in 2001, recording a career-best year in 2001 as a rookie with marks of 13.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, two assists and 1.6 steals over 26 games. Over her seven seasons with Minnesota, Abrosimova averaged 10 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals in 204 contests.
Abrosimova’s time with the Lynx came to an end after the 2007 season when she signed with the Connecticut Sun as a free agent in 2008. Before retiring in 2012, Abrosimova rounded out her career playing one season in Connecticut and two in Seattle — winning a WNBA title in 2010 — while averaging career marks of 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 263 games.
The next player on the list of top players in franchise history is the current face of the Lynx organization, forward Napheesa Collier. The 26-year-old star is entering her fifth season in the WNBA in 2023 after entering the pro game in 2019 as the sixth overall selection out of UConn.
Collier stepped into the WNBA game and hit the ground running right away with Minnesota, concluding her rookie season as the 2019 Rookie of the Year to go along with her first All-Star nod. After her first year, Collier followed that up by averaging 16.1 points, nine rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks over 22 games in 2020, adding 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks in 29 games during an All-Star season in 2021. A year ago in 2022, Collier appeared in just four games for the Lynx after giving birth to her first child at the start of the regular season.
Over the course of her four-year career entering the 2023 campaign, Collier has averaged 14.6 points, seven rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks in 89 contests while becoming a young face of the WNBA and the Lynx. During that span, she has already tallied All-WNBA Second Team (2020) and All Defensive Second Team (2020) honors, two All-Star selections, is a 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist, is the Lynx playoff career leader in three-point percentage (55.6 percent) and has led the WNBA in minutes per game three times (2019, 2020, 2021).
Up next on the All-25 Team list is center Nicole Ohlde, who played for the Lynx from 2004-08 and spent a total of seven seasons in the WNBA. Ohlde broke into the league in 2004 after being selected by Minnesota with the sixth overall pick out of Kansas State.
At the start of her career, Ohlde was a double-digit scoring machine with the Lynx, averaging 10 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 170 games in five seasons in Minnesota. Her best season came during her rookie campaign in 2004 when she tallied a career-best 11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and career-high 1.3 blocks in 34 games.
Ohlde’s time in Minnesota concluded in 2009 when she was traded to the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for Kelly Miller and LaToya Sanders. Ohlde finished her career with the Mercury — where she won a WNBA title in 2009 — before rounding out her playing days with the Tulsa Shock in 2010. Over her career, Ohlde averaged 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists over 223 games.
One of the best Lynx players to date, a 2018 Hall of Fame inductee and current Lynx assistant coach Katie Smith is next up on the list of top players in franchise history. Smith spent the first half of her WNBA career with the Lynx, playing in Minnesota from 1999-2005. She came into the league in 1999 after being selected by the Lynx in the Allocation Draft.
Smith made her mark as a professional right away, finishing with five All-Star appearances in a Lynx uniform over her first seven seasons. Smith’s best season in Minnesota came in 2002 when she averaged a career-high 23.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 32 games. Over her tenure with the Lynx, Smith averaged 18.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assist and 0.9 steals in 182 contests while earning two All-WNBA First Team and two All-WNBA Second Team selections and holding the franchise record in free throws made (891).
Smith’s playing days in Minnesota came to an end in 2005 when she was traded along with a 2006 second-round draft pick to the Detroit Shock for Chandi Jones, Stacey Thomas and a 2006 first-round draft pick. Smith ended her career playing for Detroit, Washington, Seattle and New York, finishing with seven All-Star appearances and two WNBA titles before calling it a career in 2013.
To round out of the fourth round of five players in the All-25 Team is guard Candice Wiggins, who played in Minnesota from 2008-12 and was part of the 2011 WNBA Championship team. Wiggins began her career in 2008 when she was drafted by the Lynx with the third overall pick out of Stanford.
Wiggins was a key part to the Lynx rotation in year one, averaging career-high marks of 15.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, three assists and 1.8 steals in 30 games during a rookie campaign that concluded by taking home the 2008 Sixth Woman of the Year award. In five seasons with Minnesota, Wiggins tallied 10.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 140 regular-season appearances.
In 2013, Wiggins was traded to the Tulsa Shock as part of a five-team trade that included Janel McCarville being sent back to Minnesota. Wiggins rounded out her playing days with Tulsa, Los Angeles and New York before calling it a career in 2015 with career averages of 8.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and one steal in 221 games.
Minnesota Lynx All-25 Team
(Through March 27)
- Svetlana Abrosimova
- Napheesa Collier
- Nicole Ohlde
- Katie Smith
- Candice Wiggins
- Betty Lennox
- Taj McWilliams-Franklin
- Tamika Williams
- Monica Wright
- Teresa Edwards
- Damiris Dantas
- Tonya Edwards
- Kayla McBride
- Janel McCarville
- Renee Montgomery
- Nicky Anosike
- Crystal Dangerfield
- Charde Houston
- Devereaux Peters
- Odyssey Sims