Wolves Wrap Up First Annual Radio Caravan

The Minnesota Timberwolves wrapped up their first annual Radio Caravan on Tuesday with stops in Red Wing, Owatonna and Faribault.

The second leg of the ten city tour started on Monday when radio play-by-play voice Alan Horton, analyst Kevin Lynch and producer and studio host John Focke headed west out of the Twin Cities to Willmar.

KWLM in Willmar is a game of the week affiliate and has been a part of the Wolves Radio Network since day one. The three joined sports director Todd Bergeth and morning host Budd Hansen for an hour-long local call-in show.

Over the course of the interview Horton, Lynch and Focke took phone calls on the upcoming Wolves season, gave away tickets and t-shirts, and had a laugh as one caller wanted to know who had more hair 'TV analyst Jim Petersen or Todd Bergeth?' to which Todd replied, "Boy any chance to take a shot at me they will take it!"

After a quick lunch at the local Jake's Pizza in downtown Willmar, the crew headed back to the Twin Cities where Horton and Lynch held interviews with stations in Worthington, Mankato and many other affiliates throughout Wolves Country.

"We hoped to get to as many cities as we could," said Horton "And the stop in Willmar was great, but it was also fun to link up with these other stations throughout the afternoon and get to spend 10-15 minutes chatting with their sports directors. Hopefully we'll be able to expand the tour next year to hit some of the markets we couldn't make it to this year."

The final day of the Radio Caravan saw Steve Brown, the new Timberwolves Youth Basketball Coordinator join Horton, Lynch and Focke. This day would feature two basketball clinics at schools in Red Wing and Faribault as well as radio interviews at stations along the way.

The first stop was Burnside Elementary in Red Wing. Kevin Lynch and Steve Brown put on the clinic to an eager group of 5th graders while Horton and Focke headed to KCUE to join sports director Jack Colwell on his morning show.

Lynch and Brown taught the kids the 'basketball position', showed them some dribbling moves and at the end had the kids compete in a lay-up contest, which resulted in smiles on the faces of the kids as they raced to beat the other teams.

At KCUE Horton and Focke talked about the upcoming season for the Wolves, broke down the Western Conference with Colwell, and previewed some of the celebrations the team has planned as the Wolves Celebrate 20 Seasons.

After that, everyone piled into the car and headed to Owatonna for a live remote at Culvers with KRFO sports director Roy Koenig.

Koenig is the voice of the Owatonna Huskies and was getting excited about the Husky football team's playoff game that night against Rochester Century. Horton, Lynch and Focke each joined Koenig on the air (in between bites of butter burgers, onion rings and shakes) and got people in the restaurant signed up to win tickets to the Wolves home opener against the Sacramento Kings Oct. 29th and gave away t-shirts.

The final stop on the Caravan was in Faribault at Divine Mercy Elementary School where Lynch and Brown again put on clinics for the 5th and 6th graders. This time Horton and Focke were able to lend a hand and at the end it was Horton's team winning the lay-up contest, not once but twice! A triumph he held over Kevin Lynch's head the whole ride back to the Twin Cities.

While in Faribault, both Lynch and Horton were able to take a few minutes to sit down with Gordy Kosfled, the sports director at KDHL, to answer a few questions about the upcoming season and Lynch once again took a trip down memory lane as his Bloomington Jefferson team knocked out a Faribault team in the playoffs years ago.

"I am just having a blast, it seems that every town and city we have gone into we have just met the nicest people and its so funny when they remember these games from years ago," said Lynch. "It goes to show what a great basketball state Minnesota is and not just a pro basketball state, but many of the folks we meet are passionate about basketball from the youth teams all the way up to the Wolves. It's really a blast!"

Lynch went on to say, "Today was just great, getting to work with Steve Brown and teach these kids about the game of basketball, all while getting them excited about the Timberwolves is a lot of fun. I hope they had as much fun today as I did!"

The first annual Timberwolves Radio Caravan covered over one thousand miles, 10 cities nine radio station visits and two school stops. Along the way Horton, Lynch and Focke got to meet many of the people who play a huge role in bringing Timberwolves basketball to greater Minnesota and heard a ton of great Timberwolves memories.

"The thing that really stands out to me about this Caravan, besides how much fun it was, were the great memories everyone had involving the Wolves. Having only been with the team for one season it was neat to hear the impact the Wolves and the Wolves radio network has had on so many people and their communities," said Alan Horton. "I think I speak for Kevin, John and myself when I say we can't wait to expand this and get to even more stations and schools next year."

A big thanks goes to David Leatherman and Penny Meier of the Minnesota News Network for helping to put together this four-day event.