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That much was clear along the parade route.

“I was really overwhelmed by how much emotion the people were feeling there,” Wiggins said. “They, in their hearts, love us. It feels good to be loved.”

Whalen, who grew up in Hutchinson, Minn., and starred for the Gophers, has seen her popularity rise to an even higher level. She expressed hope and optimism that the Lynx, who went 27-7 during the regular season and 8-1 in the playoffs, can keep this up.

“We have a nice core group,” Whalen said. “We’re pretty young, so this should be pretty fun for a lot of years.”

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