Sylvia Fowles

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Sylvia Fowles
2 Sylvia Fowles 2019 (cropped).jpg
Fowles in 2019
No. 34 – Minnesota Lynx
Personal information
Born (1985-10-06) October 6, 1985 (age 35)
Miami, Florida
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight227 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High schoolGulliver Preparatory
(Coral Gables, Florida)
CollegeLSU (2004–2008)
WNBA draft2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Chicago Sky
Playing career2008–present
Career history
20082014Chicago Sky
2008–2010Spartak Moscow
2010–2013Galatasaray Medical Park
2013–2015Shanghai Swordfish
2015Canik Belediyesi
2015–2018Beijing Great Wall
2015–presentMinnesota Lynx
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Sylvia Shaqueria Fowles (born October 6, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Fowles, who joined the Lynx in July 2015, was the MVP of the 2015 WNBA Finals, was named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year for the third time in 2016, and won the 2017 WNBA MVP Award. In 2020, Fowles overtook Rebekkah Brunson to become the reigning WNBA career rebound leader.

Early years[edit]

Fowles was born in Miami, Florida, the daughter of Arrittio Fowles. She has three brothers, Walter, Jeremy, Morris, and one sister, Dorothy. Sylvia grew up in some of the rougher neighborhoods of Miami-Dade, including Coconut Grove, Little Haiti, and the Victory Home Housing Projects. She attended Little River Elementary School, Horace Mann Middle School, Miami Edison Senior and graduated from Gulliver Preparatory School.

High school career[edit]

She also led Edison Senior High School to two state championships before transferring to Gulliver Preparatory School. Fowles averaged 20.6 points and 11.6 rebounds at Gulliver and led them to the class 3A state championship against Melbourne Central Catholic High School. Fowles was also named a McDonald's All-American. Fowles was named a WBCA All-American. She participated in the 2004 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored fifteen points, and earned MVP honors.[1]

College career[edit]

Fowles (right, #34) pitted against Candace Parker in the opening tipoff of the 2008 NCAA Final Four

Fowles played in all 36 of LSU's games as a freshman, helping the team to an appearance in the NCAA Final Four. As a sophomore, she started all 35 games and again helped the team reach the Final Four. In her junior year, she led LSU to the Final Four again and earned All-American honors.

Fowles was named to the pre-season All-American team prior to her senior season. She dunked the ball in the Lady Tigers' game against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on November 21, 2007, becoming the sixth woman to dunk in an American college game.[2]

In December 2007, Fowles suffered a partial tear of the meniscus of her right knee during a game against the University of Miami. She then underwent surgery and missed several weeks of play.[3]

Fowles was named the 2008 SEC Player of the Year.[4] During a March 24, 2008 NCAA Tournament game, she broke the all-time SEC record for career rebounds. She led LSU to the Final Four again in her senior year.

Fowles finished additional academic credits after beginning her professional basketball career and received her bachelor's degree from LSU in the spring of 2009.[5]

During her college career at LSU, Fowles had also played with future WNBA teammate Seimone Augustus.[6] On May 15, 2017, it was announced that Fowles' uniform number (34) will be retired by LSU during the 2017-18 season. She is the second women's basketball player in school history to receive that honor.[7]

College statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2004–05 LSU 36 426 .576 .592 9.0 0.3 1.4 2.8 11.8
2005–06 LSU 35 557 .607 .583 11.6 0.3 1.9 2.1 15.9
2006–07 LSU 38 643 .571 .612 12.6 0.4 1.2 2.1 16.9
2007–08 LSU 35 608 .584 .616 10.3 0.6 1.5 2.0 17.4
Career 144 2,234 .584 .601 10.9 0.4 1.5 2.2 15.5


WNBA career[edit]

Chicago Sky[edit]

Fowles with the Chicago Sky in 2011

Fowles was selected 2nd overall by the Chicago Sky in the 2008 WNBA Draft. After being drafted second overall, Fowles entered the Sky's rotation in the starting lineup and averaged 10.8 points, 7.6 rebounds per game and 2.1 blocks per game in her rookie season. However, her rookie season was shortened due to a knee injury as she played only 17 games with 14 starts.[9]

After establishing herself as a solid inside scorer, tenacious rebounder and elite rim protector in her rookie season, Fowles would earn her first career WNBA all-star selection in 2009. She averaged 11.3 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and 1.5 blocks per game. However, injuries would once again shorten her season as she missed 10 games.[10][11]

Fowles dunked on her second attempt during the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game while representing the Eastern Conference after everyone on both teams cleared out of her way. Her first attempt clanged off the bottom of the rim. The game took place on July 25, 2009 at Mohegan Sun, the home of the Connecticut Sun. She is the third WNBA player to dunk in an all star game, following Michelle Snow in 2006 and Lisa Leslie in 2005.

During the 2010 season, Fowles scored a career-high 35 points in a 97-96 loss to the Phoenix Mercury.[12] She had also led the league in blocks with a career-high average of 2.6 blocks per game. For her shot blocking efforts, she would be named to WNBA All-Defensive First Team.

In the 2011 season, Fowles was voted as a WNBA all-star for the second time in her career. She had averaged a double-double in points and rebounds for the whole season with a career-high 20 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game, she also led the league in blocks for the second year in the row, averaging 2.0 blocks per game. She would win WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.

In 2012, Fowles re-signed with the Sky to a multi-year deal once her rookie contract expired.[13]

In the 2014 season, Fowles averaged a double-double in points and rebounds for the fourth consecutive season, which would help the Sky make the playoffs. Fowles eventually would earn her first career Finals appearance as the Sky had advanced all the way to the WNBA Finals despite a 15–19 record and the number four seed in the Eastern Conference. The Sky faced the 29–5 Phoenix Mercury and were defeated in a 3-game sweep. It would be Fowles's final season playing with the Sky.

Minnesota Lynx[edit]

Fowles guarding Candace Parker in 2016. The New York Times says Fowles has "great agility and a spacious wingspan."[14]

Fowles turned down a contract extension offer with the Sky in September 2014.[15] She requested a trade but no trade offers from other teams for her had been sufficient. She sat out the first half of the 2015 WNBA season until she was traded to the Minnesota Lynx on July 27, 2015 as part of a three-team deal that sent Érika de Souza to the Sky and Damiris Dantas and Reshanda Gray to the Atlanta Dream. Joining forces with Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen, the Lynx were a powerhouse in the Western Conference, finishing first place and advancing all the way to the WNBA Finals, facing the Indiana Fever. With the series tied 2-2 in the decisive game 5, Fowles proved to be relentless against the Fever, scoring 20 points along with 11 rebounds in a 69-52 victory. She was named the WNBA Finals MVP as the Lynx won their third WNBA Championship in five years.[16][17]

Following her first WNBA Championship victory, Fowles re-signed with the Lynx during free agency in February 2016.[18]

Two very tall women, Fowles at left straining for the ball, Parker beneath her, also straining
Fowles and Parker

During the 2016 season, Fowles averaged 13.9 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game and 1.7 blocks per game. She would win Defensive Player of the Year for the third time in her career. The Lynx remained a championship contending team, finishing with a franchise best 28–6 record. With the WNBA's new playoff format in effect, the Lynx were the number 1 seed in the league with a double-bye to the semi-finals (the last round before the WNBA Finals) facing the Phoenix Mercury. The Lynx defeated the Mercury in a 3-game sweep, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the fifth time in six years. The Lynx were up against the Los Angeles Sparks, making it the second time in league history where two teams from the same conference faced each other in the Finals due to the new playoff format. However, the Lynx were defeated by the Sparks in a hard-fought five-game series.

In the 2017 season, Fowles would be the focal point of the Lynx's offense, leading the team in scoring. Fowles scored 26 points along with 10 rebounds in the Lynx's season home opener against her former team, the Chicago Sky in a 70-61 victory.[19] On June 11, 2017, Fowles scored a season-high 30 points along with 9 rebounds in a 91-74 victory over the Dallas Wings.[20] Fowles was also voted into the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game, making it her fourth career all-star appearance. On August 12, 2017, the Lynx made history as they defeated the Indiana Fever 111-52, marking it the largest margin of victory in WNBA history, they also exploded on a league record 37-0 scoring run during the game.[21] Fowles finished off the season averaging a double-double in points and rebounds for the fourth time in her career and also led the league in field goal shooting for the fifth time in her career. The Lynx would once again finish with the league's best record of 27–7, earning the number 1 seed with a double-bye to the semi-finals. On September 14, 2017, the WNBA announced that Fowles won the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award (Fowles had received 35 of 40 first-place votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters).[22]

Fowles and Elena Delle Donne of the Mystics during the 2017 semifinals

In the semi-finals, the Lynx defeated the Washington Mystics in a 3-game sweep, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the sixth time in seven years, setting up a rematch with the Sparks. With the series tied 2-2, Fowles set the Finals record for most rebounds in a game with 20 rebounds along with 17 points in Game 5 of the 2017 WNBA Finals, helping the Lynx win the game 85-76 and their fourth WNBA championship in seven years, tying the now-defunct Houston Comets for most championship titles. Fowles would also win her second Finals MVP award, becoming the fifth player in league history to win regular season MVP and Finals MVP in the same season.[23][24][25]

Fowles in 2019

On May 23, 2018, Fowles put on a historic performance in a 76-68 victory against the Dallas Wings in which scored 23 points along with 20 rebounds and 5 steals, becoming the first player in Lynx franchise history to have a 20-point, 20-rebound performance, secondly making it the 18th in league history and also marking the league's first ever stat line of 20 points, 20 rebounds and 5 steals.[26][27][28] Fowles would be voted into the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game, making it her fifth all-star game appearance. On July 19, 2018, Fowles scored a season-high 30 points along with 16 rebounds in an 89-65 win over the Indiana Fever.[29] In 2018, Fowles was chosen All-WNBA second team, Associated Press WNBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 4th time, and she broke the single-season record for rebounds with 404.[30] Fowles would lead the league in field goal percentage and rebounds and tied the record for highest rebound per game average in a season, but the Lynx finished 18-16 with the number 7 seed, making it the first time in 8 years they did not finish as a top 2 seed. They lost in the first round elimination game to the rival Los Angeles Sparks 75-68, ending their streak of three consecutive finals appearances.

In 2019, Fowles was voted into the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game, making it her sixth all-star appearance. On August, 27, 2019, Fowles scored a season-high 25 points in a 93-85 victory against the Chicago Sky.[31] On September 8, 2019, Fowles signed a multi-year contract extension with the Lynx.[32] By the end of the season, Fowles led the league in field goal percentage for the third consecutive season. With Maya Moore sitting out the entire season, the Lynx were still a playoff team as they finished as the number 7 seed with a 18-16 record. The Lynx were eliminated in the first round elimination game 84-74 by the defending champion Seattle Storm.

On July 29,2020, Fowles grabbed her 3,357th career rebound during the second game of the 2020 season to surpass Rebekkah Brunson, who happened to be the assistant coach of the Lynx at the time, and became the WNBA all-time leading rebounder. She finished the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds, bringing her total career rebounds to 3,360.[33]

Overseas career[edit]

Fowles played for Spartak Moscow in Russia during the 2008–09 and 2009-10 WNBA off-seasons. [34][35] Fowles played for Galatasaray Medical Park of Turkey for three off-seasons from 2010 to 2013.[36] In the 2013–14 and 2014-15 WNBA off-seasons, Fowles played in China for the Shanghai Swordfish.[37] Fowles had spent the second portion of the 2014-15 WNBA off-season in Turkey playing for Canik Belediyesi.[38][37] In the 2015-16 WNBA off-season, Fowles played once again in China for the Beijing Great Wall, leading the team to a championship[39][40] As of August 2016, Fowles re-signed with Beijing for the 2016-17 off-season.[41] Fowles would lead Beijing to its second consecutive championship of the Women's Chinese Basketball Association in 2017.[42] In 2017, Fowles would once again re-sign with Beijing for the 2017-18 off-season.[43]

USA Basketball[edit]

Fowles was a member of the team representing the US at the 2005 World University Games Team in Izmir, Turkey. In the game against China, she led her team in scoring with 23 points. In the semi-final against Russia, she led the team with 25 points, helping the team win 118–67. Fowles averaged 15.0 points per game, and 7.3 rebounds, both team highs, and helped the team to a 7–0 record, resulting in a gold medal at the event.[44]

Fowles is a member of the United States women's national basketball team and she earned a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Fowles was again invited to the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp in the fall of 2009.[45] The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics is usually chosen from these participants. At the conclusion of the training camp, the team traveled to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they competed in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational.[45]

Fowles was named as one of the National team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball.[46] This game replaces the normal WNBA All-Star game with WNBA All-Stars versus USA Basketball, as part of the preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic during September and October 2010.[47]

In 2010, Fowles was named to the national team which competed in the World Championships in Ostrava, and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. The team won all nine games to win the gold medal. They held all opponents to no more than 75 points, while scoring in triple digits four times. The win against Australia by eight points was the only game with a single digit margin of victory. Fowles averaged 8.9 points per game over the course of the tournament.[48]

Fowles was one of 21 finalists for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team Roster. The 20 professional women's basketball players, plus one collegiate player (Brittney Griner), were selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the final roster which would represent the US at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where the USA victory brought Fowles her second Olympic gold medal.[49]

Fowles also played with Team USA for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, and won her third gold medal as USA beat Spain 101-72.

Off the court[edit]

Fowles is currently majoring in mortuary science at the American Academy McAllister Institute, where she has online studies in embalming, cremation, and funeral directing.[50] Interested in the field since the death of her grandmother when she was a child, and holding funerals for her stuffed animals, she wants to present the deceased in an attractive way so that loved ones can say goodbye. Her hobby has been knitting since she was 6.[51]

Fowles founded the Sylvia Fowles Family Fund in 2010 to help needy children. She is a spokesperson for the Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) and has two nephews who suffer from epilepsy.[52]

WNBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high ° League leader
Denotes seasons in which Fowles won a WNBA championship
double-dagger WNBA record

Regular season[edit]

2008 Chicago 17 14 25.0 .520 .000 .585 7.5 0.3 1.1 2.1 2.2 10.5
2009 Chicago 24 20 28.8 .599° .000 .646 7.8 0.8 0.9 1.5 3.2 11.3
2010 Chicago 34 34 32.0 .582 1.000 .760 9.9 1.5 1.2 2.6° 2.4 17.8
2011 Chicago 34 34 34.6° .591° .000 .766 10.2 0.6 1.2 2.0° 2.8 20.0
2012 Chicago 25 25 31.1 .638° .000 .692 10.4 0.8 1.3 1.2 2.1 16.2
2013 Chicago 32 32 31.3 .586° .000 .685 11.5° 0.4 0.9 2.4 2.1 16.3
2014 Chicago 20 18 29.8 .546 .000 .783 10.2 0.6 1.4 2.0 2.8 13.4
2015 Minnesota 18 18 28.9 .507 .000 .734 8.3 0.8 1.0 1.5 1.7 15.3
2016 Minnesota 34 34 28.5 .595 .000 .717 8.5 1.2 1.3 1.7 1.8 13.9
2017 Minnesota 34 34 30.8 .655° .000 .768 10.4 1.5 1.2 1.9 2.4 18.9
2018 Minnesota 34 34 31.9 .619° .000 .757 11.9double-dagger 2.2 1.4 1.2 3.0 17.7
2019 Minnesota 34 34 29.5 .588° .000 .707 8.9 1.5 0.9 1.3 2.0 13.6
Career 12 years, 2 teams 340 331 30.5 .593double-dagger 1.000 .729 9.8double-dagger 1.1 1.2 1.8 2.4 15.8


2013 Chicago 2 2 35.5 .462 .000 .545 12.0° 0.5 2.0 2.0 4.0 15.0
2014 Chicago 9 9 36.2 .538 .000 .773 9.7 0.2 1.7 1.6 2.1 16.2
2015 Minnesota 10 10 30.9 .622 .000 .750 9.7 1.2 0.9 1.6 2.5 12.6
2016 Minnesota 8 8 31.4 .611 .000 .750 9.8 1.3 0.8 1.7 1.5 12.9
2017 Minnesota 8 8 35.4 .631 .000 .559 13.1 1.5 1.6 2.0 2.9 18.6
2018 Minnesota 1 1 37.8 .636 .000 '1.000 12.0 3.0 0.0 1.0 5.0 18.0
2019 Minnesota 1 1 23.5 .538 .000 .000 11.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 3.0 14.0
Career 7 years, 2 teams 39 39 33.3 .589 .000 .703 10.6 1.0 1.2 1.7 2.4 15.0

Awards and honors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014.
  2. ^ "Home". BRPROUD. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  3. ^ "Breaking News, World News & Multimedia". Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  4. ^ "Chancellor, Fowles Receive SEC's Top Annual Honors". Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  5. ^ LSU Commencement Features Several Noteworthy Graduates
  6. ^ "Meet Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota's Gentle Giant - - Official Site of the WNBA". - Official Site of the WNBA. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  7. ^ "Lady Tigers basketball great Sylvia Fowles has her No. 34 jersey retired by LSU". May 15, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  8. ^ "Women's Basketball Player stats". NCAA. Retrieved 25 Sep 2015.
  9. ^ A Winning Return For Sylvia Fowles Depends on Efficient Guard Play
  10. ^ WNBA player profile: Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky
  11. ^ Player Bio
  12. ^ 2010 WNBA roundup
  14. ^ Jeré Longman (March 30, 2007). "A 6-6 Center Blooms at Louisiana State". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  15. ^ As superstar Sylvia Fowles demands a trade, Sky see no limit in WNBA season
  16. ^ Voepel, Mechelle (May 2, 2015). "Sky preparing to move on without Fowles". Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  17. ^ Lynx Acquire Center Sylvia Fowles
  18. ^ Minnesota Lynx Re-Sign Center Sylvia Fowles
  19. ^ Lynx win choppy season home opener
  20. ^ Fowles Has Season-High 30 Points in 91-74 Win For 9-0 Lynx
  21. ^ Minnesota Lynx embarrass Fever by WNBA record 59 points
  22. ^ "Minnesota's Sylvia Fowles Named 2017 WNBA Most Valuable Player". WNBA. September 14, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  23. ^ Sylvia Fowles took over the 2017 WNBA Finals and isn't going away anytime soon
  24. ^ Williams Arena, Univ. of Minnesota Wednesday, October 4, 2017
  25. ^ Fowles Finishes Perfect Season With Finals Redemption
  26. ^ Sylvia Fowles’ historic performance sparks Lynx to win over Dallas
  27. ^ Sylvia Fowles has 23 points, 20 rebounds in Lynx's win
  28. ^ Hoops Happening: Today in women’s basketball (and beyond) — Thursday May 24, 2018
  29. ^ Fowles' 30 points, 16 rebounds guide Lynx by Fever
  30. ^ "Lynx's Fowles named AP Defensive Player of the Year". Fox Sports Interactive Media. Associated Press. August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  31. ^ Lynx beat Sky to claim 9th straight playoff spot
  32. ^ Lynx Announce Multi-Year Contract Extension with Sylvia Fowles
  33. ^ Young, Ryan (July 29, 2020). "Sylvia Fowles becomes WNBA all-time rebounding leader". Fox Sports Interactive Media. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  34. ^ Offseason 2008-09: Overseas Roster
  35. ^ Offseason 2009-10: Overseas Roster
  36. ^ Two Newcomer Stars among Gala Women
  37. ^ a b
  38. ^,-ex-Shanghai
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ Fowles, Beijing Capture WCBA Title
  43. ^ WNBA Players Playing Overseas
  44. ^ "Twenty-Second World University Games -- 2005". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  45. ^ a b "USA Basketball Women's National Team To Tip-Off Training Tomorrow In D.C." USA Basketball. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  46. ^ "Six Olympic Gold Medalists Among 11-Member Team Set To Participate In WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun Game". USA Basketball. 30 June 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  47. ^ "FIBA World Championship for Women". FIBA. Archived from the original on 10 July 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  48. ^ "Sixteenth World Championship For Women -- 2010". USA Basketball. October 15, 2013. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  49. ^ "Twenty-One Finalists In The Mix For Final 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team Roster". USA Basketball. February 13, 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  50. ^ Meet Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota’s Gentle Giant
  51. ^ Berkman, Seth (September 12, 2017). "Sylvia Fowles, W.N.B.A. Star and Aspiring Funeral Director". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  52. ^ McDuffie, Hannah (November 10, 2017). "IN FOCUS: Sylvia Fowles". LSU Athletics, Louisiana State University. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  53. ^ "WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 1 Jul 2014.
  54. ^ Rest of the world romp to All Star Win
  55. ^ "Sylvia Fowles wins WNBA Defensive Player of the Year". 2016-09-30. Retrieved 2016-10-01.

External links[edit]