MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Lynx today announced the team has re-signed two-time WNBA Champion and Finals MVP Sylvia Fowles for what will be her final season in the WNBA. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
“Sylvia is a franchise leader both on and off the court and her heart is such a big part of this Minnesota family and fanbase,” said Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor. “We are elated that she will spend her final year with the Lynx and look forward to celebrating Syl and her illustrious career throughout the season.”
“I cannot understate our appreciation for not only Sylvia Fowles the basketball player, but more importantly, Sylvia Fowles the person,” said Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve. “Her loyalty and belief in our franchise is beyond measure. I am thrilled that Syl is returning to the Lynx for her final season in the WNBA and look forward to her continuing to etch her mark as the greatest center in WNBA history.”
Fowles, entering her 15th season, was named the 2021 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, marking the fourth time she has earned that honor (2011, 2013, 2016, 2021) and joining Tamika Catchings as the only players in league history to win the award at least four times. In 2021, Fowles finished second in the league in rebounds per game (10.1), steals per game (1.8) and blocks per game (1.8), becoming the first player since Yolanda Griffith in 1999 to rank among the league’s top five in all three categories in the same season. Her average of 16.0 points per game, combined with the 10.1 rebounds per game, was the sixth time she averaged a double-double over a full season, the most in WNBA history. She led the league in field goal accuracy (64.0%) for the eighth time in her career, while also hitting 75.5% from the free throw line.
“There are a few reasons why I chose to play another year”, Fowles said. “The main reason for my return had a lot to do with our fans. I wanted to make sure I gave them the opportunity to see me play my final season. It feels right that my playing career finishes in Minnesota; there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
Fowles, the league’s 2017 Most Valuable Player as well as a two-time WNBA Champion and Finals MVP (2015, 2017), is entering her eighth season in Minnesota and ranks as the franchise’s career leader in field goal accuracy (60.9%), rebounds per game (9.8), blocks per game (1.6), total blocks (309) and double-doubles (88). She also ranks among the Lynx’s all-time leaders in rebounds (second, 1,880), offensive rebounds (second, 548), defensive rebounds (second, 1,332), points per game (third, 15.9), total points (fifth, 3,056) and steals (fifth, 250).
Fowles was drafted second overall by Chicago in 2008 out of Louisiana State University and was acquired by Minnesota in a three-team trade in 2015. The seven-time All-Star (2009, 2011, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021) has appeared in 378 career games with the Sky and Lynx, tallying 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.81 blocks and 1.1 assists while logging 30.4 minutes per game. She enters the 2022 season as the WNBA’s all-time leader in field goal accuracy (59.7%), rebounds (3,712), defensive rebounds (2,654) and double-doubles (180) while ranking third in offensive rebounds (1,058), fourth in blocks (685) and 13th in points scored (5,983).
Last July, Fowles won her fourth Olympic gold medal (2008, 2012, 2016, 2021) with the USA Basketball Women’s National Team in Tokyo. In September, Fowles was named to the W25, a list of the 25 greatest and most influential players in WNBA history, joining former Lynx players Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Katie Smith and Lindsay Whalen. Other accolades include earning All-WNBA honors on seven occasions (First Team in 2010, 2013, 2017 and Second Team in 2011, 2012, 2016, 2021) and being named to the league’s All-Defensive First Team seven times (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2021).
Fowles will begin her final regular season home opener at Target Center on Sunday, May 8 at 6:00 p.m. CT with a matchup against Washington.