Sweet Syl: Top six greatest moments of Sylvia Fowles’ career

Photo Credit: Lamar Carter

Whether she has worn the purple and gold of LSU, the light blue and yellow of the Chicago Sky or the lime green and navy blue of the Minnesota Lynx, Sweet Syl has displayed her basketball sweetness everyplace she has played.

Sylvia Fowles is one of the many All-Stars that will be honored this weekend in the Windy City at this year’s All-Star Game. This year also has special meaning for Fowles given she has declared 2022 will be her final season.

As illustrious as her career has been, it is very difficult to narrow down her all-time greatest moments down to six. Somehow, someway we managed to do it. Without further adieu, here are our top six moments of Fowles’ career.

LSU jersey retirement

In many ways, Fowles planted the seeds of what would be an all-time great WNBA career when she was in Baton Rouge wearing the LSU colors.

The Tigers were one of the nation’s top women’s college basketball programs during her time there as LSU would make four berths to the Final Four.

In 2017, she became forever immortalized in her school’s history as her No. 34 Tigers jersey was retired by LSU. Fittingly, only two LSU Tigers have ever had their jerseys retired – Fowles and her Tigers teammate Seimone Augustus who she later played alongside in the W’s ranks with the Lynx.

SEC Legends 2020 Class

It was her alma mater that acknowledged her litany of accomplishments at the collegiate level in 2017. Three years later, it was the conference that she competed in that bestowed a bouquet of flowers upon Fowles.

The SEC announced that Fowles would indeed be part of the conference’s 2020 Women’s Legends Class. She was in the same class as another all-time great from the SEC in Candace Parker out of Tennessee.

Each school from the conference chose a representative. In total, seven schools selected basketball players to be part of the 2020 class. Fowles is used to being recognized as part of history as she also is a member of the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame.

All-Time Rebounds Leader

Fowles proved that when she made history throughout her college days that she was merely getting started.

She got drafted into the WNBA in 2008 as the first overall pick by the Sky. Chicago is where she spent the first half of her pro career before eventually heading to Minnesota and her tenacity as a scorer and rebounder she had no problems translating over to the next level.

In late July of 2020 – the season that saw the pandemic force the entirety of that year’s WNBA season in a Florida bubble, Fowles hauled in rebound number 3,357 which made her the all-time leading boards-getter in WNBA history.

Sweet Syl corralled the rebound late in the first half following a missed shot by Breanna Stewart. As has often been the case with Fowles career, it came full circle in that matchup as she passed her Minnesota teammate Rebekkah Brunson in accomplishing the history-making feat.

It came in a defeat to the Seattle Storm, but she posted a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds in the matchup.


Fowles entered a 2017 season with the Lynx standing as the class of the WNBA. She already accomplished winning a championship in 2015 with Minnesota, but until that season, the words M, V and P had eluded her.

That season, Fowles did indeed achieve the lofty feat of becoming league MVP. She was noticeably emotional after being presented with the award by then-WNBA league president Lisa Borders.

Fowles averaged a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds en route to leading the Lynx to a 27-7 record that season – one where another championship was brought to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.


In the 2015 season, Fowles was fittingly entering the prime of her career under coach Cheryl Reeve and on a Minnesota team that already won championships in 2011 and 2013.

Minnesota’s odd-numbered success that decade continued with the 2015 WNBA Finals when the Lynx dispatched of Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever in five games. Fowles went on to win Finals MVP that series.

Another championship trophy was added to her trophy case in 2017 when, following losing in five games to arch rival Los Angeles Sparks in 2016, the Lynx redeemed themselves the following campaign by defeating those same Sparks as that year’s Finals also went the distance.

Olympic Gold

Fowles has also proven herself to be a big time player on the international level as well.

She has played an integral role in continuing the success of USA Basketball throughout the years as she has claimed gold medals from the Olympics in 2008 (Beijing), 2012 (London) 2016 (Rio de Janeiro) and 2021 (Tokyo).

Fowles also had gold draped around her neck with the USABWNT after the 2010 FIBA World Championship (now known as the FIBA World Cup) in the Czech Republic.