A Pro MVP For LSU's Fowles: 10 Years In The Making
LSU Sports Interactive
BATON ROUGE – She dominated in the middle for LSU during her four years leading the Lady Tigers to multiple NCAA Final Fours.
She was elected to the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame and this November will have her jersey retired at a Lady Tigers game.
Now one more ultimate honor is here as she becomes the first former LSU Lady Tiger to win the MVP award of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
Overall, Fowles becomes the third player from LSU, male or female, to win the top honor of a major professional basketball league joining the legendary Bob Pettit (1955-56; 1958-59) and Shaquille O’Neal (1999-00).
“You have a vision of what you want,” Fowles said in accepting the award, “and you want things to play out. But to actually get to this place you were demanding to be, to sit out and take that ride for half the summer, to get here and have everything play out like you had it in your head? That just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t happen.”
"Sylvia Fowles is one of the most dominant players in the game," said current LSU women's basketball head coach Nikki Fargas. "Through her hard work and dedication, she's been able to excel at the highest level. She is well-deserving of the WNBA MVP honor, and to be recognized by her peers and the association speaks volumes of her selflessness and humility as an individual and teammate. LSU Women's Basketball is proud to call Sylvia an alumni not only for what she represents on the court but also for who she is off the court."
Fowles received 35-of-40 first-place votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the WNBA (385 points). New York Liberty forward Tina Charles earned three first-place votes and finished second with 199 points. Candace Parker of Los Angeles was third (132 points), receiving the other two first-place votes. Players were awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, second points for a second-place vote, five points for a third-place vote, three points for a fourth-place vote and one point for a fifth-place vote.
“Congratulations to Sylvia Fowles for receiving such a tremendous honor as the MVP of the WNBA! She is a woman of influence and compassion who has brought worldwide recognition to LSU,” said LSU Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director Joe Alleva. “She makes a huge impact on the lives of others both as a basketball player and through her philanthropic endeavors. We’re looking forward to honoring her legacy later this fall by retiring her jersey in the Maravich Center.”
A four-time WNBA All-Star and three-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, Fowles ranked fifth in the WNBA in scoring (18.9 ppg), second in rebounding (10.4 rpg) and tied for second in blocked shots (1.97 bpg) this season. She also shared the league lead in double-doubles with Connecticut Sun forward/center Jonquel Jones (20).
Fowles paced all players in field goal percentage (65.5%) for the fifth time in her career (2009, 2011-13).
The former Lady Tiger standout set single-season career highs in field goal percentage, offensive rebounds (123) and assists (52). Her totals of 644 points, 354 rebounds, 254 made field goals and 44 steals were the second highest totals in her career.
Fowles, who hails from Miami and at present is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, was elected into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. She was a first-team All-America her final two years at LSU in 2007 and 2008.
Fowles ended her four-year career as arguably the most dominant center in LSU history and one of the top centers in the history of the Southeastern Conference. Fowles, who was a member of four NCAA Final Four teams at LSU, as a junior posted 16.9 points and 12.6 rebounds per game and followed that up with a senior season of 17.4 points and 10.3 rebounds a game.
In 2007-08, Fowles was named the SEC Player of the Year and WBCA Defensive Player of the Year while becoming a consensus first-team All-American. When he LSU career was finished, she shattered the SEC record for double-doubles (86) and career rebounds (1,570) while ranking fifth in league history in blocked shots (321).
Fowles was the No. 2 pick of the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky. She has won WNBA titles in 2015 and 2016 with the Lynx.