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Cottage Grove school scores visit from Lynx star

Minnesota Lynx basketball player Maya Moore talks with Armstrong Elementary School students during her May 8 visit. Armstrong student and Lynx season ticketholder Noah Acree won the visit. Bulletin photo by Emily Buss1 / 2
Fifth-grader Noah Acree and his aunt Bonnie Bjork pose with Lynx player Maya Moore during Moore's visit to Armstrong Elementary School. Bulletin photo by Emily Buss2 / 2

For Armstrong Elementary fifth-grader Noah Acree, basketball is a way of life. And, when the Minnesota Lynx are playing, Acree usually is in the stands.

As one of the professional women's basketball team's youngest season ticket holders, the 11-year-old Cottage Grove resident and his aunt Bonnie Bjork cheer for Lynx player Maya Moore every chance they get.

And on May 8, Acree and his entire fifth-grade class at Armstrong Elementary got to meet Moore in person.

"A few months ago we went to an event with an auction," Bjork said of the Lynx Foundation's holiday party.

"There were a lot of people bidding on (the personal appearance of) Maya Moore. I almost thought about telling people to stop bidding. (Noah) really likes her."

Moore, a 6-foot-tall forward in her third year with the Lynx, took the morning off from practice for the upcoming season to sit down with Acree and his classmates to talk nutrition, athletics and being part of a championship team.

"This is a good-looking bunch," Moore said as she entered the elementary school gymnasium.Acree, who sat front and center, said he enjoys watching the WNBA more than the NBA because the players are more unpredictable. "I like Maya because she's a good player on and off the court," he said. "She seems nice to her teammates and that's what I like about watching her. I hope she's as excited to meet me as I am to meet her."

After talking about her time in the Chinese basketball league, admitting her favorite vegetable is broccoli and fielding dozens of questions from curious fifth-graders, Moore gave Acree a few moments of facetime with his basketball idol.

Acree said he would never forget the meeting.

"I have my jersey signed by her three times already but I've never been able to actually talk with her," Acree said.

Getting a fourth autograph on his basketball and posing for a picture with Moore was "cool," he added.