Sky Selects Sylvia Fowles in WNBA Rookie Draft

The Sky selected 6’6” LSU star Sylvia Fowles with the second pick in the WNBA Draft. Chicago Sky Head Coach and GM Steven Key, along with Assistant Coach Stephanie White, and new Assistant Coach Mike Mitchell, participated in the draft from Chicago via teleconference.

Fowles was the first female high school player to dunk in a game, as a 6’3” ninth grader at Edison High School in Miami. Her spectacular one-handed dunk against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in November 2007 is a YouTube classic. This year, Fowles led the LSU Lady Tigers to a perfect 14-0 conference record, the regular season SEC title, and a fourth straight Final Four appearance. Her presence under the basket defined LSU’s stifling defense, which allowed opponents an average of only 50 points per game, best in the NCAA.

Fowles was named to the 2008 Associated Press All-America Team, and is a two-time State Farm (formerly Kodak) All-American. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association named her its 2008 National Defensive Player of the Year and she was one of 12 finalists for the 2008 State Farm Wade Trophy. Fowles is the 2008 SEC Player of the Year, and was named to the All-SEC First Team for three consecutive years.

“It’s exciting to have a player like Sylvia on our team, whose extraordinary skills have the potential to change the game and expand the appeal of the WNBA,” said Key. “But what’s even more exciting is that Sylvia is exactly the building block the Sky needs in our third season. I can’t wait to see her on the floor with two-time All-Star Candice Dupree at the forward and Rookie of the Year Armintie Price at guard. Wow.”

This season, Fowles led the SEC with 7.5 defensive rebounds per game while tallying 54 blocked shots, fifth most in the league. She averaged 61% from the field, 17.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. In four years at LSU, her field goal average was 59%, with 15.6 points and 11 rebounds per game. Fowles holds the SEC record for rebounds with 1,574 and for career double doubles (82). She is LSU’s career leader in blocked shots (321), free throws made (494), free throws attempted (822) and games played. She has fouled out once in her last three college seasons, a rarity in the post position.

“Her mobility is uncanny,” said ESPN analyst Doris Burke. “There is so much upside on the offensive end for her; she hasn’t even scratched the surface yet.”

“I played against Sylvia in college and she is an unstoppable post player who can change the game at the next level,” said Sky guard and WNBA Rookie of the Year Armintie Price. “She is determined, aggressive, smart, and has a great attitude. With her work ethic and personality, Sylvia is bound to become a WNBA All-Star and be in the running for Rookie of the Year. I am personally looking forward to seeing the positive impact she is going to have with our team on the court. With her skills and ability to play above the rim, there are going to be some exciting Sky games this summer!”

“Sylvia will help our team with her ability to rebound and alter opposing players’ shots,” said Sky forward and two-time WNBA All-Star Candice Dupree. “For me, the biggest impact is that she will give Chas (Melvin) and me more freedom at the offensive end, as defenses will have another legitimate low post presence they MUST pay attention to. She has enormous potential and her game should develop quickly as she begins to practice and play against more experienced athletes. I’m looking forward to having her as a teammate.”

Click here to watch Sylvia get selected in the 2008 Draft
Click here watch Sylvia Fowles Highlights