In Expanded Role, Sylvia Fowles Enjoying Another Dominant Season in 2019

(image credit: screenshot from WNBA on YouTube)

The 2019 season has already been a unique one for Sylvia Fowles in her 12th WNBA year.

The regular season started off with Fowles being the only returning player to the Minnesota Lynx starting lineup in her fifth year with the team.

With the absence of Lindsay Whalen (retired), Maya Moore (taking the season off), Rebekkah Brunson (recovering from concussion symptoms) and Seimone Augustus (early-season injury) in the starting five, Fowles found herself surrounded by a completely new squad compared to who she has played alongside since coming over from the Chicago Sky in 2015.

Although a lot has changed among Minnesota’s roster, its 6-foot-6 dominant center has continued to be just that for yet another season to this point — dominant.

“I just more so focused on being aware of my play and how I help this team. Just being persistent. Sometimes, when you are in this position you just have to step up,” Fowles said earlier this season. “It is up to me (to be a leader). … With all of these incoming players and new faces, I think it’s my job to make sure everybody is in the same place.”

Through 18 games so far this season, Fowles is averaging 14.3 points (ranks 17th in WNBA), 9.9 rebounds (second in WNBA), 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocks (12th in WNBA) and one steal in 31 minutes per game.

While leading Minnesota once again in 2019, Fowles has accomplished multiple career milestones and achievements for the Lynx.

When it comes to career milestones, Fowles has jumped up numerous WNBA all-time lists, including jumping into the top five in blocks and rebounds, as well as moving into the top 20 in scoring.

Last weekend, she also recorded her 158th career double-double, surpassing former Los Angeles Sparks great Lisa Leslie for the most double-doubles in league history.

“When you beat Lisa Leslie, there’s nothing better than that. To beat an LA Spark to be number one. (Leslie) is my favorite LA Spark, so it was awesome.” Reeve said of Fowles breaking the record. “Credit to Syl for an amazing career. … She’s just incredible and she’s relentless.

“She just finds a way. I’m really proud of her and am really thankful to be a part of so many double-doubles of that big number.”

Along with multiple milestones, Fowles continued to add to her resume when she was selected to her sixth All-Star Game (third straight with the Lynx) after being selected as a reserve player alongside teammate Odyssey Sims.

“It’s an honor to get picked year-in and year-out,” Fowles said. “I’m just happy that our fans did a good job in making sure I go to Vegas. It will be a good one.”

This season has been one filled with expanded duties and somewhat of a new leadership role for Fowles while trying to lead a team filled with new faces.

But the dominant center hasn’t let any of that impact her performance so far this summer. And especially in the last few weeks, she has continued to play exceptional while creating some memorable moments along the way.

“She’s just amazing,” Lynx rookie Napheesa Collier said. “I feel so honored that I could be a part of this program and play with her and learn from her.”

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