MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – Lynx Center Sylvia Fowles was named Minnesota Professional Athlete of the Year at last night’s Minnesota Sports Awards presented by Sports Minneapolis at Target Center. Fowles won the award for her outstanding WNBA season as league and Finals MVP, and for her work in the community.
Coming off being named the 2017 WNBA Most Valuable Player and 2017 Finals MVP, Fowles wrapped up her 10th WNBA season, third with Minnesota, by starting all 34 games, averaging a double-double for the fifth time in her career, collecting 18.9 ppg and a club-record 10.4 rpg while adding a career-best 1.5 apg, 1.29 spg and 1.97 bpg in 30.8 mpg. She shot a career-high 65.5%, the fourth-best FG percentage in league history. In the 2017 Finals, Fowles posted historic numbers including grabbing a WNBA Finals-record 20 rebounds in Game 5 against the Los Angeles Sparks to go along with 17 points. She averaged 17.8 ppg, 15.0 rpg and 2.4 bpg during the series against the Sparks on her way to her second Finals MVP honors.
Fowles’ work in the community added to her stellar 2017 campaign. After winning her first MVP honors in her 10-year career, the Miami, FL native donated a portion of the award bonus to local nonprofit Cycles for Change in support of giving middle and high school girls access to bicycles. Her partnership with Cycles for Change and the Minneapolis Foundation stems from her desire to give back, and provide opportunity and encouragement to underserved youth in the Minneapolis area. Fowles also participated in the Lynx Dream Team in April, which gave five local youth who were nominated by local non-profits the chance to sign an honorary contract with the team. Each child was paired with a Lynx starter as a mentor for a practice and was invited to events throughout the season.