“Big Syl” is getting a big honor from LSU this season.
Former two-time All-American and three-time Olympic gold medalist Sylvia Fowles will have her No. 34 jersey retired, the school announced Monday. A ceremony will take place before an as yet to be determined LSU women’s basketball game during the 2017-18 season at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Fowles becomes the second women’s basketball player and 12th former LSU athlete overall to have their jersey retired. She joins Baton Rouge native Seimone Augustus, who had her No. 33 jersey retired in 2010.
Fowles' No. 34 will hang in the PMAC alongside Augustus’ number as well as jerseys representing men’s basketball players Bob Pettit, “Pistol” Pete Maravich, Rudy Macklin and Shaquille O’Neal.
According to LSU, the decision to retire Fowles’ jersey was a unanimous one by LSU’s Hall of Fame Committee.
“Sylvia Fowles is a woman of great influence and compassion who has brought worldwide recognition to our university and to our state,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said in a written statement. “Her impact has been felt, not only through her achievements as a basketball player, but also in her philanthropic work for young people. We are thrilled to honor her legacy by retiring her jersey in the Maravich Center.”
A native of Miami, Fowles was inducted in 2015 into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
A first-team All-American in 2007 and 2008 and a three-time All-Southeastern Conference selection from her sophomore through senior years, Fowles was a star on LSU’s four most-recent Final Four teams (2005-08). In 2008 she was also voted SEC player of the year and national defensive player of the year.
Fowles finished her LSU career ranked fifth in scoring (2,234 points) and first in rebounds (1,570), blocked shots (321), free throws made (494) and free throws attempted (822). She is just one of two Lady Tigers to record over 2,000 points and 1,400 rebounds.
Now 31, Fowles joined Augustus on the last three gold medal winning teams for the United States in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2012 London games and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Selected in the first round of the 2008 WNBA draft by Chicago, Fowles also joined Augustus with the Minnesota Lynx in 2015 and led the team to the WNBA title that season, earning honors as the WNBA Finals MVP that year. She was also voted WNBA defensive player of the year in 2011, 2013 and 2016.
Fowles is the founder of the Sylvia Fowles Family Fund, which supports her extensive work for youth and families both in Baton Rouge and in Miami. She also serves as a spokesperson for CURE: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy.