Minnesota Sports Roundup: Vikings announce one more year of training camp in Mankato
The Minnesota Vikings will return to Mankato for 2013 training camp in late July. This will be the 48th consecutive season the Vikings have trained in Mankato as part of training camp. The players are scheduled to report to Minnesota State-Mankato University on July 25th with the first practice set for July 26th. There will be an evening practice at Blakeslee Stadium followed by fireworks on Saturday, August 3rd. The Vikings will break camp on August 15th. The three-week stay brings 50-thousand people to town and has a five-million-dollar economic impact on the Greater Mankato area.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder called yesterday a "good first day" of Organized Team Activities. Ponder says they have things to build on. The team will have more workouts today and tomorrow before getting some rest heading into next month when they will meet another seven days. The OTA's are voluntary, but reports indicate a high level of participation. Jared Allen is not taking part in the drills, but that is customary, as he works out on his own in the offseason. A mandatory mini-camp is also scheduled for June.
The NFL Draft is moving to May next year. The league is pushing back the draft from late April to May 8th through the 10th at Radio City Music Hall. The move comes as a result of a scheduling conflict with the venue next April. Meanwhile, the NFL Combine will remain in late February and the start of the new league year in March as it has been.
Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders spent most of yesterday watching workouts of potential NBA draft prospects at the Target Center. Saunders and other Wolves scouts, as well as front office members from other NBA teams, were on hand to watch dozens of players workout. Saunders says with these workouts they are searching for players they can develop into NBA players and acquire at an affordable price. He says later this week they will bring in players they could envision taking with their two first-round picks. Minnesota currently holds the No. 9 and No. 26 overall selections in the first round of next month's NBA Draft.
Princeton native Jared Berrgren was among several other NBA draft prospects working out in front of NBA front office personnel yesterday at the Target Center. The University of Wisconsin standout says he is hoping to make a good impression and would love to get a chance to make an NBA team. He says he attended Timberwolves games as a youngster growing up in Minnesota and getting a chance to play for them would be a dream come true. At least a dozen more players will have workouts today, including former University of Minnesota player Rodney Williams, a forward from Minneapolis.
Minnesota Lynx players and coaches helped raise money for a pair of charities by waiting tables and tending bar last night at the TGI Friday's in St. Louis Park. The event raised money for the Minnesota Lynx Foundation and the Lynx FastBreak Foundation. Fans had the chance to get autographs, have photographs taken with their favorite players, and bid on live auction items. The Lynx open the regular season with a home against Connecticut on Saturday night at the Target Center.