Local aspiring basketball stars got some training from the pros on Monday at .
The free two-hour basketball clinic, sponsored by MidCountry Bank, was open to girls ages 8-13.
Minnesota Lynx players Seimone Augustus and Erin Thorn stopped by to help the girls improve their basketball skills with drills, answer questions, pose for pictures and sign autographs.
The girls, approximately 70 of them, were in awe of the day's teachers.
"I thought it was really cool to see the Lynx here, because you don't get to just see them normally at a basketball camp that you go to," said Ilsa Rajala, who will be a fifth grader in fall.
Although she says coming back makes her feel like an "old lady" with all the "yes, ma'am's," Augustus clearly remembers taking part in youth basketball clinics just like Monday's in Minnetonka.
"It's good to come back and see the talent these young kids have at such an early age," said Augustus, who began playing basketball at age 5. "When I was younger, we didn't really have a whole lot of role models to look up to, so to be one of those people who can inspire young women, it means a lot to me."
Augustus, a 6-foot-1 forward from Louisiana, was part of the 2008 gold-medal team in Beijing. Three players from the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx– Augustus, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen (a Hutchinson native) were selected to the 11-member U.S. Olympic women's basketball team to compete this summer in London.
Thorn, a 5'9" guard from Utah, signed with the Minnesota Lynx as a free agent in May, coming from the Chicago Sky. She can also easily recall the role basketball played in her childhood.
"I remember playing with my brothers in the backyard, just goofing off, and watching the Harlem Globetrotters, thinking it was so cool," Thorn said.
After the girls were all warmed up, they split up into age groups to compete in a "Bank Shot" competition. The eight winners earned "I made the Bank Shot" t-shirts and photos with the Lynx players.
Kelsey Willems, a fourth grader, was the "Bank Shot" winner in her age group. She said she's always wanted to meet players from the Lynx and had them sign her shoe.
"It was really awesome, and it was really fun too," said Ellie Hexum, who will be in fourth grade.
Upcoming Clinics with Lynx Players
• June 19, from 3:30-5 p.m. at Hutchinson Fair Grounds (boys are also welcomed to this event)
• June 29, from 2-4 p.m. at Apple Valley Community Center