While Chicago Sky officials spent the off-season adding some big pieces to their frontcourt, the biggest piece of all finally fell into place Monday with all-star center and Olympian Sylvia Fowles agreeing to a multiyear contract with the team.
As the face of the franchise since she joined the team in 2008, the deal for the 6-foot-6 Fowles had been expected for months.
Fowles is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and last season she averaged 20.0 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, becoming only the second player in league history to average 20 points and 10 rebounds in a season.
"Anytime you re-sign a franchise player it bodes well for the future," said Pokey Chatman, the team's general manager and head coach. "Sylvia is a force on both ends of the floor and I'm looking forward to coaching her for many years to come."
Originally drafted by the Sky with the second overall pick in the 2008 WNBA draft from LSU, Fowles is now the Sky's all-time leader in scoring average (15.9), rebounds (1,000), blocks (227), and field goal percentage (57.9).
"Coach Chatman has made all the right moves in the off-season to build long term success at the Sky and I am eager to be a part of that," Fowles said.
The Sky has missed the WNBA playoffs in each of its six seasons, but Chatman has made several moves to improve the roster, including adding Olympian Swin Cash and veteran center Ruth Riley.