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20 facts celebrating 20 years of the Minnesota Lynx

Minnesota was awarded a franchise on April 22, 1998.

Twenty years ago today (Sunday) the Minnesota Lynx were born, getting approval from the WNBA to become the league's 11th franchise. 

Minnesota's four championships are tied with the Houston Comets for the most in WNBA history, but that's just part of their story. With that, here are 20 facts to celebrate 20 years in the WNBA.

1. They were named the "Lynx" on Dec. 5, 1998.

2. Tonya Edwards was the first official draft pick in team history (7th overall in 1999), but days before the draft was held the Lynx were allocated Stanford's Kristin Folkl and Katie Smith from the ABL's Columbus Quest, in addition to Brandy Reed in the expansion draft. 

3. Smith played parts of six seasons in Minnesota and was named an All-Star five times. She was recently elected to the Hall of Fame. 

4. Defeated the Detroit Shock 68-51 in their first game. 

5. Brian Agler was the first head coach in team history. 

6. Made their first playoff appearance in 2003. 

7. Took Seimone Augustus with the No. 1 overall pick in 2006.

8. In 2010, they hired Detroit assistant coach Cheryl Reeve to be their new head coach. 


Katie Smith elected to basketball Hall of Fame

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9. Traded the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, Renee Montgomery to the Connecticut Sun, for Lindsay Whalen (good move).

10. Drafted Maya Moore first overall in 2011 (another good move).

11. Moore set a franchise record with 48 points in a double-overtime win over Atlanta on July 22, 2014. 

12. Swept the Atlanta Dream in the 2011 WNBA Finals to give Minnesota its first professional sports championship since the Minnesota Twins in 1991. 

13. Won every playoff game in 2013 en route to a second championship. 

14. Signed Sylvia Fowles in 2015 and she went on to win WNBA Finals MVP as the Lynx won a third title. 

15. Finished 28-6 in 2016, the best regular season record in team history. 

16. On Aug. 12, 2017 the Lynx scored 37 consecutive points and beat the Indiana Fever by a WNBA record 59 points. 

17. Reached the WNBA Finals for the sixth time in seven years in 2017 and avenged a 2016 Finals loss by beating the Los Angeles Sparks.

18. On July 7, 2016, Whalen became the first player in WNBA history to accumulate 5,000 points, 2,000 assists and 1,500 rebounds in her career. 

19. With her title in 2017, Cheryl Reeve joined Houston's Van Chancellor as the only head coaches in league history to win four championships. 

20. Whalen was named the head coach of women's basketball at the University of Minnesota, and will do so while still playing for the Lynx. 

The 2018 Lynx season begins with preseason action in early May followed by the season opener May 20 against the Sparks. 

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