Lynx's Fowles evolves into an MVP front-runner


MINNEAPOLIS -- "I was that weird kid," Sylvia Fowles said with a laugh.
But perhaps there is a better description for the Minnesota Lynx center as a child: She was a mixture of intriguing contradictions.
The 6-foot-6 Fowles is in her 10th season in the WNBA, and is seeking her second championship with the Lynx. She has averaged nearly a double-double in her WNBA career and is a three-time defensive player of the year. She's considered the front-runner for MVP this season.
But Fowles was once a tall, fast, athletic girl who initially did not want to play organized basketball. She was the youngest of five children, but the one usually given the most responsibility by her mother.
She was a daredevil prankster who didn't fear anything, but also a level-headed pragmatist who understood commitment and discipline. An active youngster who often couldn't sit still, but also an artist who -- when committed to a project -- could focus intently for hours.
A gentle ray of sunshine whose smile could light up a room, but also a deep thinker who had, as she says, "kind of a fascination with death."
That could sound overly dramatic or morbid from a lot of people, but not with Fowles. Having lost a great-grandmother, a grandmother and a cousin at a relatively early age, Fowles became curious about death rather than frightened of it.
What happens afterward? Where do we go? Do we return?