Fowles, who finished her 15-year career this season as the league's all-time leading rebounder, is the second Lynx player to receive the honor. The first was Teresa Edwards in 2004. It is the first time Fowles has received the award.
The league's sportsmanship award was named after Perrot following her death in August 1999 from cancer. A guard for the Houston Comets, she helped that franchise win the first two WNBA titles in 1997 and 1998.
Fowles received 36 votes from a national panel of 56 sportswriters and broadcasters. Seattle Storm guard Brian January, also in her last season in the WNBA, finished second with eight votes. Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell and Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike, a three-time recipient of the award, each got three votes. Ogwumike, president of the executive committee of the players' union, won the award in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Along with the rebounding record (4,006), Fowles is also the WNBA's career leader in field goal percentage (.599). She won two WNBA titles with the Lynx, in 2015 and 2017, and was WNBA Finals MVP both times. She was also the season MVP in 2017, and won Defensive Player of the Year four times.
Fowles averaged 14.4 points and 9.8 rebounds this season for the Lynx, who finished 14-22, missing the playoffs.
The No. 2 draft pick in 2008 by Chicago, Fowles was traded to Minnesota in 2015 and has been involved in community service in the Twin Cities, in Chicago, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when she attended LSU, and in her hometown of Miami.
Fowles partnered with Free Bikes 4 Kidz MN, Slow Roll Twin Cities, and Appetite For Change to host bikes rides and plant beets at a community garden to raise awareness around access to fresh food in North Minneapolis.
"Through her unwavering humility, kindness and class, she truly has been an inspiration to teammates, coaches, staff, opposing players, fans and community members," Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said of Fowles. "Her on- and off-court legacy will forever live on throughout our league."