Posted By: Michael Cecchin
There comes a time in professional sports when a player comes along with a style and outlook so unique and different they are looked at as ‘revolutionary’. Every sport has had a player change the game and approach it like no one has before, players who dominate aspects of the game making them the ‘face’ of the sport. For women’s basketball and the WNBA, many are saying the play of Sylvia Fowles is revolutionary in its own right. The Miami, Florida native who stands at 6 ft 6 inches, has been dubbed the names “Baby Shaq” and “Big Syl” due to her dunks and domination in the paint. She also spends countless hours giving back to the community by donating both her time and money.
Selected 2nd overall in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky, Fowles is a dominant player on the basketball court. Big Syl was named the 2010 WNBA MVP, she has made the 2009 and 2010 All-Star teams and is one of only three women to dunk during an All-Star event. She was a Gold Medalist with the 2008 American women’s basketball team and was the EuroLeague Women 2010-11 All-Star Game MVP. Her presence on the court instills fear in her opponents, as she is able to control games and run the floor at a compelling rate. However, she’ll be the first to tell you that she is like a teddy bear and the people around her all agree, especially those who she has helped so much in such a short time.
The Sylvia Fowles Family Fund takes aim at creating healthy, happy support for families in need. It is also the primary supporter of Team Fowles, which is the elite girl’s AAU basketball team with the Miami Suns Youth Development Program. The program is dedicated to promoting basketball for girls and youth travel basketball across Southern Florida, as well as life skills development for young women pursuing a degree as a student-athlete at an NCAA Division 1 institution.
Aside from providing assistance for young female basketball players, Sylvia is also involved in the fight against epilepsy. After her young nephew was diagnosed, she joined forces with CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy. In hopes of raising public awareness and funds, Sylvia became an official spokesperson for CURE and has been involved in multiple Epilepsy awareness events such as meet and greets with fellow Chicago Sky teammates and epilepsy patients. She also helped initiate a special ticket program giving a portion of ticket sales made during a home game to the CURE program. In the summer of 2010, Sylvia received the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award in which she received a $5,000 WNBA donation to CURE members, furthering her involvement and generosity towards the battle against epilepsy.
Growing up in tough neighborhoods and having family affected by a disease such as epilepsy, Sylvia Fowles has been given a connection to the people she has affected and helped. She knows the struggles faced by children who can’t afford organized sports and she knows what kind of joy she brings to the teams she helps. She is a perfect role model for young females and a key figure in the battle with epilepsy. Her personality on and off the court has made being a pro look so easy.
To learn more about Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, visit http://www.cureepilepsy.org/home.asp
To learn more about Team Fowles, visit www.teamfowles.org
To learn more about what Sylvia Fowles, visit http://www.bigsyl.com/#!