That's all part of it, of course. But maybe not the main thing: Scalia was Whalen's first recruit, and that has bonded the two.
Scalia, then at Stillwater High School, was the first player Whalen called after being hired to be Gophers coach in April 2018. Whalen, new to the recruiting game, distinctly remembers the call. "We probably said two words,'' Whalen said. "I didn't know what to say. We talked for maybe a minute. Seriously, it was like, 'How are you? How's it going? How's your family? What's for dinner?' "
Scalia visited a week later. A couple of weeks after that Whalen — still with the Lynx — was on a nighttime bus ride back to the cities after losing to Washington in a preseason game in Des Moines when her phone rang. It was Scalia, committing to the Gophers.