In her 12 WNBA seasons, Sylvia Fowles has done just about everything. The Lynx center has tallied six All Star appearances, won two WNBA titles, captured both the Finals MVP and regular season MVP in 2017, and compiled three Defensive Player of the Year awards and three Olympic gold medals.
All of that has been well documented as has the 6-6 veteran’s post basketball career plans as a mortician. I was still able to find something to talk about with the affable 33-year-old earlier this week though…
DZ: Well, you guys have Seimone (Augustus) back in the lineup. How does that change the dynamic on the team?
FOWLES: Just what she brings to the team. She’s very familiar with Cheryl Reeve and how she wants to get it done and her leadership skills are phenomenal. Just having her out there on the floor to talk to us and putting us in our place at the right time makes a big difference.
DZ: You mentioned leadership with Seimone. Obviously, you’ve probably taken a bigger role this year, just all the changes on the team. What’s that been like?
FOWLES: It’s been easy for the most part, kind of different because it’s out of my comfort zone. I’m not used to talking to the teammates and getting everybody in their spots, but like I said before, our group is a good group, and these young ladies, they work hard enough so they don’t make my job too hard.
DZ: Are you more of a vocal leader or a leader by example?
FOWLES: I’m a lead by example. I don’t like to be vocal. I feel like it’s always a weird spot, especially when you have really good friends, to put them out in the moment or to flush them out in the moment and having an understanding it’s just the dynamics with being on the court. And when we’re off the court, things are back to normal, so I’d rather just lead by example.
DZ: It’s your 12th season, by my count. What’s-
FOWLES: Twelve years. Oh, lord.
DZ: What’s gotten easier, what’s gotten harder in those 12 years?
FOWLES: Easier, just trying to keep up with the pace. We got a good group of fresh legs with all these young players that we have, so just keeping up with them has been the easier part. I would definitely say what’s gotten harder is the double and the triple teams, definitely gotten harder for me this year.
DZ: Cool. Obviously, I’ve got to ask you about… Everyone’s asked you about becoming a mortician. Are you surprised how much attention that’s gotten?
FOWLES: No and yes. Yes, in the sense of I think a lot of people who really don’t understand the basketball world and what the body goes through physically and sometimes mentally, too. You just have to have something new to refresh your memory and take you away from that but, at the same time, keep you as busy. So I am kind of worried that they do ask a lot of questions, how I’m getting that much attention. But then again, no, because everybody who knew me from day one knew it’s something that I was interested in, and I’m just having the time to actually go back and refocus on it.
DZ: There’s one last thing. The Olympics are next year, 2020 Olympics. Have you thought about those at all?
FOWLES: Just a smidge. I try not to think too much about it because there’s just too much going on through the season to actually put yourself in that mindset…So it puts us up in that mindset. It’s kind of hard when you have a task at hand already, and that’s just us being focused, trying to make a good playoff run. But I thought about it a little bit. Not too much.
See more of David Zingler’s 2019 athlete interviews:
July 25: Max Kepler
July 20: Kyle Gibson
July 10: Alaina Coates
June 25: Taylor Rogers
June 19: Ryan Eades
June 16: Jason Castro
May 18: Seimone Augustus
April 24: Ryne Harper
April 21: CJ Cron
February 2: Caleb Truax