Lindsey Moore can’t wait to start her new job.
The former Nebraska All-American made the Minnesota Lynx roster, but she and her teammates have yet to play a regular-season game. They start Saturday against Connecticut, a week after the WNBA tipped off a new season.
“We’re all excited and getting anxious to play,” Moore said.
What makes it even more fun, Moore said, is that she’ll be facing Kelsey Griffin, another former Husker All-American who starts for the Sun. The teams played an exhibition this month, but Moore was sidelined by a strained calf.
Nebraska associate head coach Sunny Smallwood attended that game, and said it was amazing to see the two Huskers in pro uniforms.
“It makes it so much fun when you can watch these people realize their dreams in a big stage,” she said. “You are so happy for them as people.”
Smallwood will try to catch Saturday’s game on TV. Another NU assistant, Dayna Finch, plans to go to Minneapolis for the 7 p.m. contest. She’ll be the one trying to cheer for both women.
“That was the hardest thing,” Smallwood said. “You try to pick a neutral seat and try to be excited for both of them. It confuses the fans around you, I’m not going to lie.”
While Griffin is now a veteran, the 5-foot-9 Moore is just learning the ropes after surviving training camp. She was the 12th pick in the draft in April.
She’s serving as the backup point guard to Lindsay Whalen, and she’s soaking up everything she can from the nine-year veteran.
That means do everything Whalen does on the court.
“I’ll just come in and give solid minutes and be a leader,” Moore said. “I’ll get our team organized and make sure everyone is doing the right thing.”
Moore has had no problems directing the more veteran players on the team. She thought she did well in her 20 minutes of action in the Lynx’s first exhibition, showing solid defensive skills. She’s getting used to the quicker players in the WNBA.
Smallwood said Moore already showed she was a great learner as a freshman at NU, when she took over as point guard and worked with six seniors. As a senior, she set Nebraska records for assists in a career (699) and a season (195).
Moore is ultra-competitive, and Smallwood expected her to do well if given the chance.
“In the WNBA, it’s all about timing, fit and need,” Smallwood said. “It looks like the team that drafted her really needed what she had to bring.”
Smallwood said it was great to also catch up with Griffin and some of her family, who attended the exhibition game. Griffin, who has moved this season back to her natural position, power forward, has shown lots of growth after playing three years in the WNBA and overseas.
“She’s getting a lot more comfortable and confident with who she is as a player and as a person in this realm,” Smallwood said. “She’s happy and doing well.”
There have been lots of changes for Moore, too. Since graduating May 4, she’s becoming more comfortable in her new hometown.
The team provided an apartment close to the Target Center. She and her boyfriend, who also moved to Minneapolis, have been exploring the city during her time off.
“It’s been really good,” she said. “The city is cool, and there is a lot of stuff to do.”
But now it’s time to get to work. Moore wants to do it right from the start.
“It’s really your job. It’s the only thing you have going on,” she said. “It’s about building your brand. You are your own brand.”
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