Lindsay Whalen offers to put her No. 13 back into Gophers rotation

On Friday the 13th, the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team’s head coach, Lindsay Whalen, who ended her playing career with the Golden Gophers in 2004, offered to have her number back in the rotation on the team.

No. 13 has not been worn by another player in the program since her departure as a player.

"I am honored that my jersey hangs in the rafters of Williams Arena and am grateful for the impact the ‘U’ has had on my life," she said. "Moving forward, however, I would like to have the No. 13 available for others that come to the university and represent the Gophers on the court."

None of the six numbers and seven jerseys that have been raised to the rafters of Williams Arena have officially been retired, school officials say. Debbie Hunter, who played for the Golden Gophers from 1979 to 1983, also wore No. 13.

Whalen was the first three-time All-American in program history, a three-time All-Big Ten selection and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. After a Sweet Sixteen appearance her junior season (2002-03), Whalen led the Gophers to their only Final Four in program history in 2004. She finished her career as Minnesota’s all-time points leader, along with being second all-time in assists and third all-time in steals.

In her first two seasons as head coach at her alma mater, Whalen has led the team to a 37-26 mark (.587) with a trip to the WNIT in 2019. Additionally, she has coached one WNBA draft pick, one All-American, seven All-Big Ten honorees, two members of the Big Ten All-Freshman team, one Big Ten All-Defensive Team player and 11 Academic All-Big Ten honorees.

In addition to Whalen’s and Hunter’s No. 13, the other honored jerseys at Minnesota belong to Rachel Banham (No. 1), Janel McCarville (No. 4), Linda Roberts (No. 21), Carol Ann Shudlick (No. 42) and Laura Coenen (No. 44).