So, what did Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders do to celebrate the announcement he’d officially been named coach of the team … he went out for cookies.
He wasn’t alone in his May 21 cookie run and his venture wasn’t to just any bakery, but to Cookie Cart, 1119 W. Broadway Ave., North Minneapolis. Saunders and several of his players, including star center Karl-Anthony Towns stopped by the North Minneapolis bakery to meet with teen employees, pass along words of encouragement and advice and to make, decorate and package cookies.
Earlier in the day it was made official that Saunders, 33, would take over as head coach of the NBA team once coached by his father, the revered Flip Saunders. Ryan Saunders had been the team’s interim coach, taking over midseason in the 2017-2018 campaign. The younger Saunders said spending time with the youth at Cookie Cart was just as important as his press conference earlier in the day officially naming him coach.
“Being here is a testament to the character in this locker room that six players in the offseason on a Tuesday at 4 p.m. would come to be here with these kids,” said Saunders, while filling a box with freshly baked sugar cookies. “It’s a testament to our commitment to this community. We want to be well-rounded on the court and off the court as well.”
Towns said the team owes so much to the fans that it is only right to be visible within the community.
“It’s awesome to be in this community; the community give us so much. Because of the fans we’re able to succeed and we’re honored to be able to give back,” said Towns.
Sixteen-year-old Hamza Abdi, a Cookie Cart employee, said meeting Towns and other members of the Timberwolves was a dream come true.
“For me to meet these players; they’re superstars and it’s my dream to meet them,” said Abdi. “My dream is to become like them and I love getting to talk to them and learn from them.”
Started in 1988 as a means to keep teens away from gangs and violence by nun Sister Jean Thuerau, Cookie Cart employees teens ages 15-18 and offers leadership training in addition to a paycheck for an estimated 200 youth.