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Celebrating the 2011 WNBA Champions

President Obama welcomes the Minnesota Lynx to the White House.
President Obama welcomes Coach Cheryl Reeve and the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx to the White House (September 18, 2012)

President Barack Obama welcomes Coach Cheryl Reeve and the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx to the White House to honor the team and their 2011 WNBA Finals victory, in the East Room, Sept. 18, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

President Obama today welcomed the Minnesota Lynx to the White House.

Two years ago, Minnesota was home to the worst team in the WNBA. Last year, they were the WNBA champions.

In describing their march to WNBA finals, President Obama told the story of their remarkable turnaround -- describing how they drafted Maya Moore, signed veteran players like Rebekkah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen, and hired Cheryl Reeve to be their coach.

"By the end of the season, Maya was Rookie of the Year, Lindsay led the league in assists, Cheryl was Coach of the Year," the President said. "The team had the best record in the league. They made their home games the hottest ticket in town. Then, just in case anyone doubted their dominance, they marched through the playoffs, losing only one game and sweeping their final two series."

This year, the Lynx are picking up where they left off -- they're leading the Western Conference, and they've already clinched homecourt advantage for the playoffs.

But more importantly, the President said, they're continuing to set an important example for young women across the country.

"As the husband of a tall, good-looking woman and as the father of two tall, fabulous girls, it is just wonderful to have these young ladies as role models," he said. "There’s something about women’s athletics -- we know for a fact that when girls are involved in athletics, they do better across the board. They’re more confident. They do better in school."