Sylvia Fowles

Aliyah Boston snags spot on USA Basketball training camp roster

South Carolina's Aliyah Boston competes in the 2022 NCAA women's basketball tournament
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USA Basketball on Tuesday announced the 28 athletes that will participate in next month’s women’s national team training camp, which will determine the roster for the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup.

Headlining the list of invitees are five members of last summer’s gold-medal winning Olympic team: A’ja Wilson, Ariel Atkins, Chelsea Gray, Jewell Loyd, and Breanna Stewart. They’ll be joined by all four members of the 3×3 team that won the inaugural Olympic title: Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum, and Jackie Young. A full roster is below.

2016 Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne will be back in the mix after missing 2020 and most of 2021 due to injury, while two-time Olympic gold medalist Angel McCoughtry is also slated to attend after tearing her ACL in 2021 and having her contract bought out by the Minnesota Lynx one week into the 2022 WNBA season.

South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston is the only current college player on the roster, while three WNBA rookies (Shakira Austin, Rhyne Howard, NaLyssa Smith) will be in attendance.

“That’s gonna be super dope,” Gamecocks alum A’ja Wilson said of Boston making the training camp roster. “I think it’s going to be big for Aliyah to be in it… Hopefully I can play alongside her — and against her. I mean, it’s all going to be love and very competitive.”

The 2022 U.S. World Cup team will be very different than the one that won gold at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics as seven members of that roster (Brittney Griner, Sue Bird, Sylvia Fowles, Tina Charles, Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Napheesa Collier) will not be in attendance.

The 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup will be held from September 22-October 1, 2022, in Sydney, Australia.

Name Position  Height  Current Team College
Ariel Atkins G 5-8 Washington Mystics Texas
Shakira Austin C/F 6-5 Washington Mystics Mississippi
Aliyah Boston F/C 6-5 South Carolina South Carolina
Kahleah Copper F/G 6-1 Chicago Sky Rutgers
Elena Delle Donne G/F 6-5 Washington Mystics Delaware
Diamond DeShields G 6-1 Phoenix Mercury Tennessee
Stefanie Dolson C 6-5 New York Liberty Connecticut
Allisha Gray G 6-0 Dallas Wings South Carolina
Chelsea Gray G 5-11 Las Vegas Aces Duke
Dearica Hamby F 6-3 Las Vegas Aces Wake Forest
Myisha Hines-Allen F 6-1 Washington Mystics Louisville
Natasha Howard F 6-2 New York Liberty Florida State
Rhyne Howard G 6-2 Atlanta Dream Kentucky
Sabrina Ionescu G 5-11 New York Liberty Oregon
Brionna Jones F 6-3 Connecticut Sun Maryland
Betnijah Laney G/F 6-0 New York Liberty Rutgers
Jewell Loyd G 5-10 Seattle Storm Notre Dame
Kayla McBride G 5-11 Minnesota Lynx Notre Dame
Angel McCoughtry G/F 6-1 Louisville
Arike Ogunbowale G 5-8 Dallas Wings Notre Dame
Kelsey Plum G 5-8 Las Vegas Aces Washington
Aerial Powers F 5-11 Minnesota Lynx Michigan State
NaLyssa Smith F 6-3 Indiana Fever Baylor
Breanna Stewart F/C 6-4 Seattle Storm Connecticut
Alyssa Thomas F 6-2 Connecticut Sun Maryland
Courtney Williams G 5-8 Connecticut Sun South Florida
A’ja Wilson F 6-5 Las Vegas Aces South Carolina
Jackie Young G 6-0 Las Vegas Aces Notre Dame

Connecticut Sun end Minnesota Lynx’s season as Sylvia Fowles plays final WNBA game

Sylvia Fowles #34 of the Minnesota Lynx smiles with Natisha Hiedeman #2 of the Connecticut Sun after the game on August 14.
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The Connecticut Sun closed the curtains on the Minnesota Lynx’s season on Sunday, winning at home 90-83 and handing a bittersweet defeat to future Hall-of-Famer Sylvia Fowles as she played the final WNBA game of her storied career.

“It was what you hoped wasn’t going to happen,” said Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve, who shared a long embrace with Fowles when she exited the game in the fourth quarter for the final time at the 43-second mark. “We’d hoped that we were going to end the regular season in a more joyous way, give her a chance for her last game to be the playoffs, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

After starting the year 3-13, Fowles and the Lynx still had a chance at the postseason. Minnesota needed a win, along with a loss from either the New York Liberty or Phoenix Mercury, to earn the eighth and final playoff spot. Reeve, whose squad finished 14-22 and finished in 10th place, then broke for the first of several times while paying tribute to the 15-year WNBA veteran and eight-year Lynx player, pausing to let the emotion roll through.

“Syl’s awfully special,” continued Reeve, who won two of the Lynx’s four WNBA titles with Fowles in the lineup. “Through it all. That’s the thing that’s so crazy: I might have been really resentful if I were Sylvia Fowles. For most of the season, I might have been really pissy as a person. But Syl found a way. She’s just got a whole lot more love in her body that most of us.”

The 36-year-old Fowles also had more to achieve in her career finale, hitting one last milestone Sunday when she surpassed 4,000 career rebounds. She finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds in just over 30 minutes, recording her 101st double-double in a Lynx uniform. For her career, Fowles retires as the league’s all-time double-doubles leader (193) and a top-10 all-time scorer. She’s also a four-time Olympic gold medalist, with four WNBA Defensive Player of the Year awards. Other accolades include league MVP honors in 2017, and she also was named the WNBA Finals MVP in 2015 and 2017, as she helped the Lynx to two of their four titles during a seven-year span.

“What an unbelievable career, a true giant in our game,” said Sun coach Curt Miller after the win. “Just one of the elite post players that’s ever played the game of women’s basketball, and again, has not received probably as much notoriety as she should for someone that has been so dominant and so consistent throughout her career. It’s a pleasure to compete against her, and obviously goes out as still one of the most efficient and productive players in our league.”

Ironically, Fowles was quick to criticize her final performance, telling reporters after the game: “I was a little annoyed with myself because I had a sh—- three quarters. And I felt like I did (my teammates) a disservice. And so, I just was a little frustrated and emotional at the same time.”

However, she admitted she’s yet to process the finality of it all, and said she came into Sunday with a thankful spirit.

“I learned this team was going to be different and a little more challenging, so I had to do things that were out of my comfort zone, which I’m gratefully happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone,” said Fowles, who was feted by Minnesota following her final home game on Friday — a loss to the Seattle Storm. “But also, too, just appreciating the love that I got from the fans this year. It game perspective to me, and I never got that in my first 14 years of playing, and so to see that all come together for my last year – I’m really grateful for that as well.”

“It’s bittersweet,” said Connecticut’s Alyssa Thomas, who led the Sun in scoring Sunday with 16 points and seven rebounds. “One of the game’s greatest. So, for this to be her last game, it’s sad. We wanted to see her out there again.”

Thomas was backed up on court by teammates Brionna Jones and Natisha Hiedeman, who each scored 15 points, while Jonquel Jones added 12.

Minnesota’s Lindsay Allen, who came into the game averaging just 4.3 points per game this season, led the way for the Lynx. The 27-year-old Notre Dame alum had a breakout performance, going 6-of-7 from the three-point range and scoring a career-high 26 points with six assists. Aerial Powers added 22 points and eight rebounds.

Connecticut ended its season on a three-game win streak, finishing with a 26-11 record and sweeping the season series vs. Minnesota, 3-0. The Sun head into the playoffs as the No. 3 seed and will face the No. 6-seeded Dallas Wings in a first-round, best-of three series that begins Thursday.

“They’re young and dynamic and can really score the basketball,” said Miller regarding the matchup. “You know, you’re talented one on one players. They’re long, they’re athletic. They pose problems. So, they have some success and stretches against us this year. It should be a great series.”

The Sun went 1-2 vs. the Wings in the regular season, including an 82-71 loss in their last meeting July 5, but Connecticut has won eight of the last 10 meetings overall, dating back to 2019.

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: 2022 WNBA Playoffs – Qualified teams, playoff format, game schedule and more

Sylvia Fowles enjoys heartfelt retirement celebration despite Lynx loss to Storm

Sylvia Fowles #34 of the Minnesota Lynx smiles after the game against the Seattle Storm.
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The Minnesota Lynx may have fallen to the Seattle Storm on Friday night, 96-69, but the loss didn’t dampen the celebration that swelled inside Minneapolis’ Target Center in honor of future Hall-of-Famer Sylvia Fowles as she played her last regular-season home game.

The 36-year-old Fowles, who helped the Lynx win two WNBA titles during her eight seasons with the franchise, received a standing ovation when she exited the game with two minutes remaining. The eight-time All-Star scored 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in 26 minutes, going 3-for-3 at the line and recording her 100th career double-double in a Minnesota jersey.

“Coming into this season, I didn’t want none of this attention but as the season went along, I realized how much love and how much appreciation these fans have for me across this league and I never want to take this for granted,” Fowles told ESPN after the game. “So, thank you guys for everything that you have done throughout my career. It’s been an amazing ride and I appreciate you all.”

Seattle (22-13) secured the win – and a 4-0 sweep of the season series – behind 23 points and nine rebounds from Tina Charles and 21 points from Jewell Loyd, who set a franchise record with her 73rd three-pointer of the season. The previous record was 72, set by none other than soon-to-be-retired 13-time All-Star Sue Bird in 2016. With the win, the Storm also locked up the No. 4 seed in the WNBA playoffs, where they’ll host the No. 5-seeded Washington Mystics next week in a first-round, best-of-three series.

RELATED: Sylvia Fowles still learning as Minnesota Lynx aim for WNBA playoff spot

“As a fan of Syl and knowing how amazing she is, you don’t want to ruin her night, but it wasn’t ruined at all,” said Storm coach Noelle Quinn, who’s in her second year as head coach. “So much love in the stadium for her and win or lose, you know, it was it was going to be her night and a great night.”

The Lynx put Fowles front and center during a post-game ceremony honoring the 15-year WNBA veteran, who was a four-time All-American at LSU before being picked No. 2 overall in the 2008 draft by the Chicago Sky. The Lynx acquired Fowles via a trade in 2015, and she retires as the league’s career leader in field-goal percentage, total rebounds, defensive rebounds and double-doubles.

“(Sylvia is) one of the greatest players to ever play – the greatest center of ever play,” said Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve prior to Friday’s tipoff. “People need to know about her, people need to know about her dominance on the court, which a lot of people don’t know. And then obviously, what she’s brought to so many people: the gifts, the gift of love, the gift of friendship, the gift of generosity. I mean, there’s just countless stories.”

Several of those stories were shared during Friday night’s festivities, during which Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan declared Aug. 12 as “Sylvia Fowles Day” in Minnesota and featured tributes from Reeve, Timberwolves co-owner Glen Taylor, USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley, current teammate Napheesa Collier, and former teammates Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson, who’s also a Lynx assistant coach.

“From a selfish standpoint, I would play with Syl for the rest of my career,” said 25-year-old Collier, who gave birth to her first child, a daughter, less than 12 weeks ago and returned from maternity leave early in order to play with Fowles in her last few games. “I wish you’d play 10 more years. I’d stay here for you. … You are truly one of one, a living legend. The way that you represent yourself, this community, this team your country, is with dignity, grace and class.”

Fowles is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, with four WNBA Defensive Player of the Year awards among her numerous accolades. She was named league MVP in 2017, and she also earned WNBA Finals MVP honors in 2015 and 2017, helping the Lynx earn two of four titles in a seven-year span.

“It’s been a joy,” said an emotional Fowles following the tributes, which included a rousing chant of “Who’s house? Syl’s house!” led by an animated Bird. “I never thought that I would be here in this moment with the impact that I made across this league, to many people, players, fans, family. … This league is competitive and it’s hard, so when you get to that point where you know you have to wind down, it tends to be a roller coaster.”

“Thank (you to) my teammates for pushing me throughout the years,” added the Miami native, who plans to move back to Florida to start her next chapter as a mortician. “Allowing me to be myself, allowing me to take no days off and keeping me motivated. Without you guys I am not who I am. And I want you guys to know that. To the media to the fans, thank you guys for embracing me with open arms.”

The Storm will close out their season on Sunday at top-seeded Las Vegas, while Minnesota (14-21) plays at Connecticut, aiming to secure the final playoff spot.

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: 2022 WNBA Playoffs – Qualified teams, playoff format, game schedule and more