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Minnesota Lynx Star Bridget Carleton Thinks it’s Time for the WNBA to Have a Canadian Team!

We know Canadians love basketball, we did invent the sport after all! However, the Toronto Raptors are the sole Canadian team in the NBA, and we don’t even have a women’s team! Is it time for the great white North to get its own WNBA team? Well superstar Bridget Carleton of the Minnesota Lynx thinks so! Carleton joined us this week on The Brandon Gonez Show for a special Hennessy Conversation to discuss her career, and whether believes the WNBA should expand into Canada. 

Growing up in Chatham, Ontario, Carleton shared that it was definitely a hockey city, but basketball was always a big part of her life. She explained that her mother always loved the game, and shared that love with Carleton. 

“I never thought I was going to be a WNBA player,” Carleton said, explaining that her dream was to represent Team Canada at the Olympics. 

“As my career evolved I went to division one college with Iowa State University, became an all-American and I was like ‘OK maybe I will get drafted, maybe I will get a chance to play in the WNBA,’.”

“I kind of found a home in Minnesota and this is now my fifth year playing in the league,” Carleton shared, explaining that there have been ups and downs along the way. 

Carleton began her professional career playing for Connecticut, where she was drafted a month before she graduated from university. 

“There was still a month left of school so I missed some school, missed my graduation to go to the Connecticut training camp but obviously I was super excited to be in Connecticut to get drafted. I wanted to work as hard as I could to potentially make that team, and I did.”

She explained that she practiced as hard as she could, trying to hone her skills on the court and improve as a player. Carelton says that she was cut about a month into the season, with officials saying that it was not her fault. 

“We had a point guard get hurt and we needed to bring another point guard in, which is not my position. So everything happens for a reason, and I ended up getting picked up by Minnesota a few weeks later and I’ve been here ever since,” she explained, adding that this is a perfect example of how everything happens for a reason. 

Is it Time for the WNBA to Create a Canadian Team?

The WNBA hosted its first Canadian game at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on May 13, with the Minnesota Lynx taking on the Chicago Sky. Carleton shared that she was excited to be playing on this side of the border. 

“I was just so excited. Not only for the WNBA to experience what Toronto is like but for Canadians to experience what the WNBA is like,” Carleton explained, sharing that it was special to see her loved ones in the crowd as her worlds collided. 

“It was so fun to be a part of and I’m so happy that there is so much passion for basketball in Canada right now and it’s a really cool culture to be a part of.”

So with some fans calling for Canada to get its own WNBA team, what does Carleton think?

“I’m down, I’m down obviously! I think, first of all, the league is ready to expand. We’ve seen in the last few weeks that a lot of people are getting cut from rosters that deserve to be in the league,” Carleton explained, adding that there are only 144 roster spots in the league. 

“So it’s a tough league to get into and there are so many good players out there that aren’t on rosters, so obviously expansion is needed and needed soon.”

Carleton also shared that she believes Toronto is the right city for a WNBA expansion. 

 “I think Toronto would be an amazing market. Obviously we proved that. The love is there, the attention is there. People want to invest in Canada, in Toronto specifically. Canadian fans deserve professional women’s sports in Canada.”

Carleton shared how her teammates feel about playing in Canada, who she thinks the main rival of Toronto’s WNBA would be, her advice for other young female hoopers and more on this episode of The Brandon Gonez Show



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