Best WNBA Players Who Can Dunk
The WNBA is not known for its high-flying dunks. In fact, it is often extremely rare to see a dunk in a WNBA game, so much so that when it does happen, it often makes national news. And although dunking is not a big part of the WNBA game, there have been a number of WNBA players who have successfully dunked during a WNBA game.
Below, we are going to look at the best WNBA players who can dunk. In addition, we will discuss just why dunking is so rare in the WNBA and some ways in which the popular basketball move can be better incorporated into the female league.
And, lastly, for all the WNBA players listed below who have successfully dunked in a WNBA game, we will be providing accompanying video of the dunk.
Why is Dunking so Rare in the WNBA?
Contrary to the men’s game, and the NBA, the women’s game and the WNBA is often more tuned to a purer level of basketball play. That is, the women’s leagues often play in a more classic fashion of the game, with a bigger emphasis on defense, proper offensive strategy, and a focus on shooting abilities.
In addition, the women’s league and the WNBA in general very rarely see dunks in a game. The reasons for this are multiple. However, it is important to note, that dunking in the game is allowed and there is no prohibition in the WNBA on dunking.
Rather, dunking in the WNBA is often not done due to the complexity involved in performing the move. With the basketball rim being placed 10 feet above the ground, similar to the NBA, most WNBA players are simply unable to reach the necessary vertical needed to achieve and complete a dunk.
Due to biological differences between a man and a woman’s body, most WNBA players simply do not have the physical strength needed to elevate themselves to the rim. And with most WNBA players standing several inches shorter then their male counterparts, this additional barrier makes dunking all the more difficult.
However, since the inception and founding of the WNBA, there have been 7 WNBA players who have successfully performed a dunk in a live game. Below, we are going to review these 7 players.
Born on July 7, 1972, Lisa Leslie may be one of the most famous WNBA players of all-time. Currently the head coach for the Triplets in the BIG3 professional basketball league, Leslie played in the WNBA from 1997 to 2009 as a center.
During her career, she was a three-time WNBA MVP and a four-time Olympic gold medal winner. The number seven pick in the WNBA draft, she followed her career at the University of Southern California with eight WNBA All-Star selections and two WNBA championships over the course of 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Born on March 20, 1980, Michelle Snow played for the WNBA’s Houston Comets from 2002 to 2008. She played college basketball at the University of Tennessee, during which time she became just the third woman in the women’s NCAA college basketball to dunk a basketball during a game.
Candace Parker was born on April 19, 1986 and is currently a WNBA player for the Chicago Sky. Selected first overall in the 2008 WNBA draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, she played college basketball for the University of Tennessee, where she would lead the team to two consecutive national championships, being named the Final Four’s most outstanding player in both occasions, and was a two-time consensus national player of the year.
In addition to playing in the WNBA, Candace Parker is also frequently seen as an analyst and commentator for Turner Sports, giving coverage for NBA games and for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Sylvia Fowles was born on October 6, 1985, and played in the WNBA for the Chicago Sky and the Minnesota Lynx. She won the WNBA MVP in 2017 and was awarded the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year award four times. In addition, she led the Lynx to two WNBA Championships and was named the MVP of the WNBA Finals on both occassions.
Brittney Griner was born on October 18, 1990, and is a WNBA player who plays for the Phoenix Mercury. She played college basketball for the Baylor Lady Bears and is the only NCAA basketball player to score both 2,000 points and block 500 shots.
Jonquel Jones was born on January 5, 1994 and is a Bahamian-Bosnian basketball player who currently plays for the Connecticut Sun. Drafted with the 6th overall pick in the 2016 WNBA draft, she played college basketball for both Clemson University and George Washington University.
Liz Cambage was born on August 18, 1991 and is an Australian basketball player who last played in the WNBA for the Los Angeles Sparks. Currently the holder of the WNBA single-game scoring record with 53-points, she has also played for the Australia national team between 2009 and 2021.