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Thursday morning links: Minnesota vs. Phoenix preview, Skylar Diggins on the three to see campaign, Brittney Griner breaking down gender roles

10 WNBA-related stories from around the web from the last three days to get your day started.

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There's one game on the WNBA schedule today and it should be a good one: the Minnesota Lynx will host the Phoenix Mercury, who are still looking for their first win.

So we begin the day with some links related to that and then move on to stories about women's basketball stars past, present, and future.

  • Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune reports on how the Minnesota Lynx will approach defending Brittney Griner when she comes to town for the first time today. After having to guard Tina Charles in her first game back in the WNBA, the 6-foot-2 McCarville will be given the primary responsibility for guarding the 6-foot-8 Griner, though she'll get help from 6-foot-5 Amber Harris. But how they approach her on offense might be the key: as the Seattle Storm did, their goal is to pull her out of the paint. Read more >>>
  • Bob Sansevere of the Pioneer Press spoke to Maya Moore about what's ahead for the Minnesota Lynx this season. She had this to say about what it means to "take over a team": "Taking over a team, to a lot of people, means scoring 50 points. Taking over a team, to me, means being involved in every good play in some form or fashion. I think it's fun to be on a team like this, where you can mix it up." Read more >>>
  • Kyle Ratke of LynxBasketball.com described why the return of Alexis Hornbuckle and Charde Houston with the Phoenix Mercury today is significant: both were members of Minnesota's historic championship team in 2011. As the team celebrates its 15th year of existence, Houston was named one of the team's top 15 players in franchise history. Read more >>>
  • Rachel Hislop of the Global Grind writes about the response to Nike announcing that Brittney Griner would not only be the first openly gay athlete to represent their brand but also be modeling men's clothing. Her message: "I applaud both Nike and Brittney for taking strides in breaking down gender roles in the mainstream and hope that this brave statement is the first of many developmental progressions to come..." Read more >>>
  • Michelle Smith of ESPNW wrote on Monday that Chicago Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot is ready to step up this season. Among the keys to her potential improvement is something that many of us have noted during her first two seasons: she added 15 pounds in the offseason. 2013 Most Improved Player candidate? Read more >>>
  • Paul Franklin of The Times of Trenton put together a nice feature about Chicago Sky "rookie" Michelle Campbell, for those WNBA fans wondering who she is. She finally made a WNBA roster after graduating from Rutgers in 2006 and making a career for herself abroad. Among the key tidbits: she says she has become more of a forward while playing overseas and she learned to become more aggressive with more responsibility. Read more >>>
  • Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times did a Q&A with Tina Thompson on her thoughts about retiring from the WNBA at the end of this season after 17 seasons. Her thoughts on this being a "farewell tour": "We're not going to call it that. I don't want a circus. I'm here to play basketball. Our team is a lot different. There are new faces, unfamiliarity. We need as much focus as we can." Read more >>>

  • Mike Pesca of NPR had a story on "the doubled edged sword that is the three to see marketing campaign". Both Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins seem to share the same sentiment of folks around Swish Appeal about all the marketing hype. From Diggins: " I think it's disrespectful to say I'm one of the three to see in the WNBA because we've got so many great vets who have been here and done many things. I haven't done anything yet." Read more >>>

  • Erin Murtaugh of SB Nation's Notre Dame site One Foot Down looks back at Skylar Diggins' college career, reactions from Notre Dame fans when she was drafted third by the Tulsa Shock, and how her performance in her first four WNBA games figures into her future as someone who can "revolutionize" the league. Although many Notre Dame fans were apparently surprised she wasn't selected by the Chicago Sky, he explains why being in Tulsa might be better for her. Read more >>>
  • George Warren of KXTV in Sacramento spoke to former Monarchs star and Olympian Ruthie Bolton about her fight against an illegal foreclosure on her home in Elk Grove, CA. In the appended video he remarks, "If this can happen to Ruthie Bolton this can happen to anybody." His point is especially true for blacks in the U.S. - Laura Gottesdiener has written an entire book about that. However the bigger problem in Bolton's case is that she is one of many victims of a type of foreclosure that is illegal in California, as Warren highlights. Read more >>>

As usual, there are many other women's basketball links around the web that are probably worth sharing with others. Feel free to drop those in the comments or - if you have a lot to say about something you've read - write a fan post (click here for a full guide to writing fan posts).