It’s hard to believe that the WNBA has only been around since 1997. In their short history, the league has really solidified professional women’s basketball in the United States and has organically established it’s own identity apart from their male counterparts in the NBA.
In that time, the league has seen several legendary players come through the league including arguably the league’s best center of all time Sylvia Fowles, who is just retired. She is a two-time WNBA champion, has been named Defensive Player of the Year four times, led the league in overall field goal percent nine times include the last five seasons, and is fourth all-time in blocks.
All this and Fowles has dominated the paint standing at “only” 6-6 with basketball shoes on. That got us wondering about the tallest WNBA players the league has ever seen. So as we love to do; we researched available information and put together a list for anyone else that’s curious.
The 25 Tallest WNBA Players of All-Time
To level-set, the average height of a woman is approximately 3-5 inches shorter than the average height of a man in the same country and that is true worldwide according to World Data. So it comes as no surprise to us that WNBA players are shorter on average than NBA players (by approximately 7 inches). And even fewer WNBA players reach the seven foot threshold. That all holds true for our list of the tallest WNBA players in the history of the league. Here are the WNBA’s tallest players of all time:
1. Margo Dydek, 7-2
The WNBA’s tallest player was Margo Dydek. Every player mentioned in this article has tall girl problems, but there’s one player that had the biggest issues. The one and only seven-foot player that has ever played in an WNBA game is the late, great Margo Dydek. In fact, the Polish center stood two inches taller than the seven foot mark. The 7-2 pivot was drafted with the #1 overall pick in the 1998 WNBA draft, and makes our list as one of 50 greatest WNBA players of all-time. And Dydek is four inches taller than the the next tallest players.
2. Bernadett Hatar and Han Xu, 6-10
The next tallest players are Hungarian center Bernadett Hatar and 6-10 Han Xu. Hadar had a short WNBA career having played just seven games in the W before getting injured in her inaugural season in 2021. She hasn’t hit the WNBA courts since then. Han Xu on the other hand is a promising backup center for the New York Liberty. The Chinese center has a high ceiling with her ability to run the floor and mid-range game.
4. Brittney Griner, 6-9
Perhaps the most well-known WNBA player of 2022 due to her protracted illegal detention in Russia, Griner was a big name in the WNBA before becoming an unfortunate political prisoner. The fourth tallest player in the history of the WNBA is the most well-known and that’s Brittney Griner.
The 6-9 Griner made dunking a regular occurrence in the league, has been named to several WNBA all-star games, and was included as one of the league’s 25 greatest players. At 6-9 Griner is the only WNBA player at this height in the history of the league and that was good enough to be the tallest player in the WNBA for eight consecutive season (2013-2020).
5. Brcaninovic, Cambage, Firsova, Mattera, Stepanova, Taylor, and Zheng, 6-8
We’d continue naming off players, but at the next spot has seven WNBA 6-foot, 8-inch players tied for fifth tallest player ever. Right below the 6-9 Griner are several players that clock in at 6-8 including Australian baller Liz Cambage, Russian hooper Maria Stepanova and the tallest player in the first year of the WNBA Chinese center Haixia Zheng. This list includes little known players in Katie Mattera, Olga Firsova, Razija Brcaninovic, and Lindsay Taylor.
Here’s the full list of tallest WNBA players.
|1||Margo Dydek||7-2||218 cm||Poland|
|2||Bernadett Hatar||6-10||208 cm||Hungary|
|2||Han Xu||6-10||208 cm||China|
|4||Brittney Griner||6-9||206 cm||USA|
|5||Haixia Zheng||6-8||203 cm||China|
|5||Maria Stepanova||6-8||203 cm||Russia|
|5||Liz Cambage||6-8||203 cm||Australia|
|5||Katie Mattera||6-8||203 cm||USA|
|5||Lindsay Taylor||6-8||203 cm||USA|
|5||Olga Firsova||6-8||203 cm||Ukraine|
|5||Razija Brcaninovic||6-8||203 cm||Bosnia|
|12||Kalani Brown||6-7||200 cm||USA|
|12||Kara Wolters||6-7||200 cm||USA|
|12||Teaira McCowan||6-7||200 cm||USA|
|12||Imani McGee-Stafford||6-7||200 cm||USA|
|12||Jennifer Hamson||6-7||200 cm||USA|
|12||Alison Bales||6-7||200 cm||USA|
|12||Gillian Goring||6-7||200 cm||USA|
|12||Zane Tamane||6-7||200 cm||Latvia|
|12||Li Yueru||6-7||200 cm||China|
So the eleven seasons that Dydek played in the WNBA, she was the tallest player. Here’s a breakdown of the tallest players for every WNBA season:
When talking about dunking, height is important, but isn’t the only factor. The size of one’s hands, their vertical leap, their wingspan, and being in the right place, right time to take a pass also influences how often a player dunks.
As for where the 6-6 Fowles stands among her peers? Though measuring 6-6 is still tall for the WNBA (and relatively rare), Fowles is not considered one of the tallest and doesn’t even crack the top 20. As expected, as heights get “shorter” there are more and more players at that height. She joins approximately twenty other players that are reach 6-foot-6 in height (198cm).
|Michele Van Gorp||6-6||USA|
|Rankica Sarenac||6-6||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
At this height, there are exactly 19 players that measure 6-6 and that’s the exact number of players above that are taller than 6-6 (19) in the history of the entire league. All in all, there have been 38 players that have been 6-6 or taller since the first WNBA game tipped off. Several WNBA greats including Fowles and Lauren Jackson as well as 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones are 6-6. And right below those three are future Hall Of Famers and WNBA legends 6-5 Lisa Leslie, Elena Baranova and Elena Delle Donne. Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart are both 6-4 and a part of the WNBA 25.