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Sylvia Fowles Desires to See Who She Can Be Without Basketball


It’s form of funny to Sylvia Fowles that everyone seems to be on the identical page about what she should do along with her life now that she has retired from the W.N.B.A.

Everyone, that’s, aside from her.

“Basketball is certainly done,” she said Friday, five days after her final game with the Minnesota Lynx and, she insisted, the ultimate game of her 15-year W.N.B.A. profession as one in all the sport’s greats.

She doesn’t wish to play again. “That is it,” she said, adding that 2022 was “by far the toughest season injury smart,” though she didn’t say much about it publicly.

And she or he doesn’t want to teach. It’s “a tough hell no for me,” she said with fun.

The concept of going into broadcasting earned a “we’ll see” from the 36-year-old Fowles.

But though she said “everybody” wanted her to stay around basketball, she needed a break.

“I definitely can say I don’t see basketball playing an enormous part in my life right about now,” she said. “I just wish to step away and debrief just a little bit because that is something that I’ve been doing for therefore long.

“And if I miss it, then I’ll come back.”

The sport seems certain to miss her. As Fowles said, she “gave this sport every little thing.”

The W.N.B.A. announced Friday that she had won the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, for “ethical behavior, fair play and integrity.” It was her first time being chosen, by a panel of writers and broadcasters, but she has had a profession filled with other honors.

“Just dominant,” Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird said of Fowles. “I believe everybody uses that word after they speak about Syl. Just dominant, dominant play.”

Fowles is the W.N.B.A.’s profession leader in rebounds (4,006) and field-goal percentage (59.9 percent), and she or he is in the highest five for profession blocks and field goals made. She even led the league in rebounds per game for the 2022 season.

Fowles said she played through pain because she wanted to satisfy her commitment to the Lynx in her final season. She announced in February that this yr could be her last, and it became a monthslong celebration of her profession. Bird, who also said this may be her last season, spoke highly of Fowles.

“When I believe of Syl, she’s the form of player you may have to game plan around,” she said. “And what’s tough about players who rebound the way in which that she does — how do you actually stop a rebounder?”

She continued: “Especially someone who’s as physical and powerful as she is. It’s not so simple as, ‘Oh, hey. Box Syl out.’ That’s probably not going to occur.”

Fowles was named the league’s defensive player of the yr 4 times, including last season. She won two championships with the Lynx, in 2015 and 2017, and was named the most precious player of the finals each times. She won the league’s M.V.P. award in 2017 and has 4 Olympic gold medals.

After having her name attached to those sorts of accolades for therefore long, Fowles said she was ready to search out out what else she likes to do. She has spoken about her interest in becoming a funeral director.

“I’m curious to see what I’m without basketball,” she said. “I’m wanting to see this recent person.”

But while she plans to travel and visit family and friends, she said she was unsure find herself beyond basketball.

“I believe plenty of it’s just stepping away and attempting to determine how smooth can I be without it,” she said. “I believe it’s going to be plenty of trial and error. But I truthfully can’t let you know what that appears like.”

Jonathan Abrams contributed reporting.

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