MINNEAPOLIS — For the past year, Sylvia Fowles has enjoyed all the things she craved during her decorated WNBA career.

The former Minnesota Lynx star — who won four Olympic gold medals, two WNBA titles, WNBA Finals MVP (twice), four WNBA Defensive Player of the Year honors and an MVP — finally had more time to see family and friends. She was also a diligent auntie who took her nieces and nephews to school. And she relaxed after a pro career that began in 2008 and ended in 2022 when she retired.

On Sunday, Lynx fans — many of whom wore “Sweet Syl” headbands — cheered for Fowles during a jersey retirement ceremony at the Target Center in Minneapolis that highlighted one of the greatest careers in basketball history.

“My life changed once I got here. I think I hit my peak,” said Fowles, the WNBA’s career rebounding leader, when her No. 34 jersey was unveiled in the rafters after the Lynx secured their first home win of the season with a 91-86 decision over the Los Angeles Sparks. “This organization was everything I needed it to be from top to bottom. And then I was coming in with these [teammates] who took nothing less than great. We fight, we fuss, but when we came between these four lines, we battled — and it was [a problem] for other teams.”

Fowles enjoyed a lengthy celebration in the same building where she helped the Lynx become a dynasty that won four WNBA titles in seven seasons. Fowles, who won Finals MVP during the team’s title runs in 2015 and 2017, was joined by some of the Lynx stars — including Rebekkah Brunson, Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore — who fueled the most successful run in Minnesota sports history.

“It was a joy playing with you and the legacy that you leave is a very high one that’s already rubbing off on these players,” said Moore, the former UConn and Lynx star who officially retired from the WNBA in January. “Well done. You should be proud of yourself. Love you.”

Whalen, who was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022, said Fowles had a kind personality that contrasted her ferocity on the court.

“We needed her, and we sure don’t have 2015 [title] and we don’t have 2017 [title] without her,” Whalen said about Fowles, who joined the team in 2015 after spending her first seven seasons with the Chicago Sky. “And with that, I think she became the greatest center of all-time.”

Fowles has stayed connected to the Lynx and basketball in retirement by mentoring some of the team’s players. Prior to training camp this season, she worked with current Lynx standout Napheesa Collier, who said the team wanted to get a win for the Lynx legend on Sunday.

“We wanted to get this win, especially for [Fowles’] jersey retirement and I’m so glad we did,” she said after the come-from-behind victory.

Fowles said she wants to continue to take advantage of retirement and the extra time she now has. She said she’ll stay close to the game but she will not jump into coaching “just yet.”

Before she left the dais during the ceremony, she thanked the fans who supported her and the Lynx during their remarkable run.

“I didn’t forget about ya’ll,” she said as fans screamed for her. “You guys are amazing. I don’t think people understand the caliber of a Minnesota Lynx fan.”