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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: White House honor WNBA Champion Lynx

WASHINGTON, DC -- The 2013 WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx were honored Thursday afternoon at the White House.  President Obama congratulated the Lynx for going 26-and-8 in the regular season and sweeping the playoffs with a 7-0 record.  The president also thanked the team for its off-court efforts and being involved in the community, helping students with reading and supporting breast cancer research.  Obama quoted Lynx assistant Shelly Patterson who said "winning is what we like to do" and he said it shows.  Forward Maya Moore said she wants to make the White House visit an annual trip.    


The Lynx play the Dream tonight at Philips Arena in a rematch of the 2013 WNBA Finals (Fri 6:30pm).  Guard Seimone Augustus says they lost to Atlanta on their home floor in the regular season last year and will do what they can to try and bring home a W.  Coach Cheryl Reeve says they need to protect the basketball against the Dream.  Minnesota is 8-and-1 while Atlanta has a 5-and-3 record.  


Former Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams is leaving Minnesota to join the Super Bowl champion Seahawks.  The six-time Pro Bowler signed a one-year contract with Seattle.  Seahawks owner Paul Allen confirmed the signing of 34-year-old Williams last night on Twitter.  Williams will be reunited in Seattle with ex-Vikings Percy Harvin, Heath Farwell and Tavaris Jackson. 


The Minnesota Vikings wrapped up their final round of Organized Team Activities (OTA's) Thursday at Winter Park.  Second-year defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd says the coaches have the players on the right page and they're getting better everyday on both sides of the ball.  Tight end Kyle Rudolph says O-T-A's are really important because there's a lot you cannot learn in the classroom.  All Vikings players will participate in a mandatory minicamp nexxt Tuesday through Thursday (6/17-19).


The Twins open a three-game series against the first-place Tigers tonight at Comerica Park (Fri6pm).  Minnesota began its nine-game road trip by winning two of three at A-L East-leading Toronto.  Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson gets the start versus the Tigers'left-hander Drew Smyly.  Detroit (34-28)has a four-game lead over Minnesota (31-33) in the American League Central standings. 


The Tigers blanked the White Sox 4-0 at U-S Cellular Field last (Thurs) night to avoid a three-game sweep.  Max Scherzer pitched his first career complete game shutout for Detroit.  The Twins visit the Motor City for a three-game set this weekend.  


 Two Minnesota golfers will tee off this afternoon in the U-S Open at Pinehurst in North Carolina.  Elk River native Clayton Rask shot a three-over 73 in the first round and is tied for 68th place. Don Constable of Minnetonka is at the bottom of the leaderboard after a disastrous 12-over par 82 on Thursday.  Rask and Constable both played at the University of Minnesota.  Martin Kaymer is the round-one leader at five-under par.  


The Timberwolves are out with the three-game preliminary round schedule for the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.  The Wolves will open play July 12th against Dallas at the Thomas & Mack Center.  The event features a tournament-style schedule that will crown an NBA Summer League champion on July 21st.  The three preliminary games are July 11th-15th and each team is guaranteed at least five games.