Minnesota Lynx WNBA star Collier returns to the court less than THREE MONTHS after giving birth

Minnesota Lynx WNBA star Napheesa Collier returns to the court less than THREE MONTHS after giving birth to her daughter… before talking to journalists in the postgame press conference with newborn on her lap!

  • Napheesa Collier returned to the basketball court 10 weeks after giving birth
  • The Minnesota Lynx star and former Rookie of the Year finished with six points
  • She said it felt ‘so good’ to hear her name called and the fans cheering for her
  • Collier then brought her daughter Mila to the press conference postgame 

Napheesa Collier made an impressive return to the WNBA Sunday, less than three months after giving birth to her daughter Mila in May.

The Minnesota Lynx star, who was the 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year, finished with six points in 21 minutes – and then brought her newborn into the press conference.

Collier had hinted that she wanted to return to the court quickly after her pregnancy, but few expected 10 and a half weeks to be possible, and she received a rousing reception from the crowd.

Napheesa Collier returned for Minnesota Lynx Sunday night

She gave birth to her daughter Mila less than three months ago

Napheesa Collier returned to the WNBA Sunday, less than three months after giving birth

Collier then brought her daughter Mila - wearing a replica jersey - to the press conference

Collier then brought her daughter Mila – wearing a replica jersey – to the press conference

‘I was really excited,’ Collier said while holding Mila on her lap postgame. ‘Obviously, there’s some nerves coming in, especially this late in the season and trying to get back here and rush to do everything. 

‘But it felt so good to hear my name called and have the fans cheer for me. It was a really good feeling. So I’m really glad I played tonight.’  

While Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve added: ‘She’s got to catch up with the speed of the game and as things are happening, but that’s probably about as successful as I thought it could be, playing probably a bit longer than what we initially thought.’

Collier was Minnesota’s leading scorer (16.2 per game) last season, and on Sunday it was left up to Kayla McBride to score 20 points and help the Lynx use a fourth-quarter run to beat the Atlanta Dream and keep their playoff hopes alive. 

Collier celebrates with her teammates after they beat the Atlanta Dream at the Target Center

Collier celebrates with her teammates after they beat the Atlanta Dream at the Target Center

Atlanta (14-19) fell into a tie with the Phoenix Mercury for the eighth, and final, playoff spot with a week remaining in the regular season – a half-game ahead of the New York Liberty (13-19) and a game in front of Minnesota (13-20) and the Los Angeles Sparks (13-20).

The Dream missed six consecutive field-goal attempts during a 10-0 run that gave Minnesota a 70-59 lead with 7 minutes to play after Collier converted a three-point play and, 32 seconds later, McBride hit a 3-pointer. Maya Caldwell made a 3-pointer to snap Atlanta’s scoring drought of 3-plus minutes.

Natalie Achonwa answered with a three-point play before Rachel Banham made a pull-up jumper to give the Lynx a 75-62 lead with 5:28 remaining.

Collier thanked the crowd, and then brought her daughter with her to the press conference

Collier thanked the crowd, and then brought her daughter with her to the press conference

Moriah Jefferson hit 4 of 5 from 3-point range and finished with 18 points, Banham scored 12 and Sylvia Fowles added eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Fowles moved past Brittney Griner into third in WNBA history with 718 career blocks.

Aari McDonald and Rhyne Howard scored 16 points apiece for Atlanta and Cheyenne Parker added 12 points – all in the first half. Caldwell and Naz Hillmon each scored 10 points.

Minnesota had 26 assists on 31 field goals and made 12 3-pointers.

source: dailymail.co.uk