By SYLVIA FOWLES
For The Associated Press
What a wonderful All-Star weekend in Chicago. It was pretty neat that the city where I was able to start my career is where I had a chance to play my last All-Star Game.
There was so much to do before the actual game with media availabilities, practice and then when we left the arena I had a full day of events ahead.
My agency had set up a tea party for me — something to honor all I’ve done over my career. At first, I admit I didn’t really want to do it, but they insisted. I had to invite people, so I brought some of my Chicago friends as well as Coach (Cheryl) Reeve and her family.
As hesitant as I was at the start, I’m so glad they convinced me to do since it was really cool. We had a private room in a hotel where they had so many teas. I love tea by the way. They had the china out as well as these awesome little cakes.
It was a lot of fun.
Then I went back to the hotel to get ready for the Chance the Rapper concert. I met up with Napheesa Collier and we had a great time. The atmosphere, the loud music, the people jumping around. The music was good and the energy was great.
Then it was off to bed to get ready for the game.
I will always remember the reaction from the crowd when I was introduced. They’ve been with me since Day 1 and they’ve always stuck by me even when I left for Minnesota. They showed me mad love and didn’t hate on me and I can’t thank them enough. They are my diehards.
Now I know everyone was talking about the 3 and the dunk. Coach drew up the 3 in the locker room for the first play and at first I was like what is going on, but I was happy to do it. Coach (Cheryl) Reeve always challenges me to shoot them and I say no. In the game I was like why not?
When it went in I saw how happy everyone was and that made me happy.
As far as the dunk, I honestly wasn’t thinking much about it when I was going up for it. Just figured why not? And then to see everyone’s reaction afterwards is something I will always remember how happy I made them.
The hardest thing for me during the game was when they honored me and Sue Bird. It’s always nerve wracking for me. I never feel comfortable when people are gracious enough to honor me. Although the more it happens, the more I’ve learned to accept it and be grateful for it.
The other hard part was knowing that my sister Brittney Griner wasn’t there with us. Wearing her name and number on our jerseys in the second half makes sure she’s not forgotten. We still have work to do to get her home. We need to continue to get the word out.
The final memory I’ll take away is when Sue gave me the game ball after it was over. She said you deserve it for the way you played. That will have a special place in my house next to the autographed ball the players signed for me.
After the game, I made a quick pitstop over at the Nike Nationals tournament to see Team Fowles play. Sadly they lost, but we had fun chatting afterwards and I got to catch up with my former coach at LSU Bob Starkey.
Now it’s back to Minnesota to get ready for the rest of the season to make a playoff push.
Minnesota Lynx star Sylvia Fowles is checking in periodically during her final season in the WNBA with The Associated Press.
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