10 Tallest WNBA Players: Current and Historically

Before we talk about the tallest WNBA in 2021, did you know that the average height of a WNBA player is between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet? This is a big difference from the general public since the average height of American women is 5 feet 4 inches according to Medical News Today.

It is no secret that height is a huge deal when it comes to basketball. Some average players have made huge strides in their careers solely based on the advantages of their height. This is part of the elimination process for a lot of basketball recruiters. Needless to say, being closer to the basket during an offense is very beneficial. The same goes for a tall player who can be a bigger wall during a defense.

Some players have been listed as shorter or taller than they are so that they can have smooth sailing in their careers. This is more so for player positions than it is for team recruitments. The NBA and other leagues put measures in place to prevent this in 2019 by requiring all physicians to take precise player height measurements during training camp.

We will take a look at the history of the tallest women in the WNBA for the past 20 years. We will see how their height impacted their careers and what other amazing achievements they made. Plus, we will break down the current holder of the tallest WNBA player title.

History Of The Tallest WNBA Players For The Past 20 Years

The title of the tallest woman in the WNBA is held by Malgorzata Dydek who was 7 feet 2 inches. She is the only WNBA player who is more than 7 feet tall. Margo, as she was famously known, tragically passed away on 27 May 2011 when she was pregnant with her third child. The cause of death was a cardiac arrest that led her to be placed under a medically induced coma.

This list of tallest WNBA players consists of active and retired players. Some active players are still in the game whereas others are couches for various WNBA teams. We are only going to focus on the past 20 years of the game and give you any current information on these players.

1. Malgorzata Dydek: 7 feet 2 inches

Malgorzata Dydek

  • Listed height: 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 meters)
  • Listed weight: 223 pounds (101 kgs)
  • Status: Died
  • Nationality: Polish
  • Age: 37 (Died on 27 May 2011)
  • Position: Center
  • Number: 12
  • Years active: 1998 – 2008
  • Career history: Utah Stars/San Antonio Silver Stars (1998-2004), Connecticut Sun (2005-2007), Los Angeles Sparks (2008)
  • Notable awards, highlights, and achievements: 2 x WNBA All-Star in 2003 and 2006, 8 x WNBA blocks leader, and WNBA all-time bocks header.

Malgorzata Dydek comes from a family of tall siblings who has also played basketball, though not to the same professional extent as her. Her younger sister, Marta who is also tall at 6 feet 6 inches, played for the University of Texas-El Paso basketball team. Marta also played professionally in Spain during the early 2000s. Her elder sister, Kaska who is 6 feet 7 inches, also played basketball for Colorado Xplosion.

Margo did not start her career with the WNBA. She played for several European teams between 1992 and 1998. Her first entry into the professional game was with Olimpia Poznan (1992 to 1994). She left the team later on in 1994 and joined Valenciennes Orchies in France where she played till 1996. Fun fact: It was at Valenciennes where she would meet her beloved future husband, David.

2. Brittney Griner: 6 feet 9 inches

Brittney Griner
Image Source: @brittneygriner18
  • Listed height: 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 meters)
  • Listed weight: 205 pounds (93 kgs)
  • Status: Active
  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 31 (Born on October 18, 1990)
  • Position: Center
  • Years active: 2013 – Present
  • Career history: Phoenix Mercury (2013-Present), UMMC Ekaterinburg (2014-Present), and Zhejiang Golden Bulls (2013-2014)
  • Notable awards and achievements: 7 x WNBA All-star, 2 x WNBA scoring champion, 8 x WNBA blocks leader, and WNBA champion in 2014

People mistake Brittney Griner to be 6 feet 9 inches but as the WNBA states, she is listed as 6 feet 9 inches. This makes her 3 inches shorter than the tallest woman in the history of basketball. She is still active in 2021 with a great portfolio of career highlights and awards.

Brittney Griner’s impressive basketball journey began in college at Baylor University in Waco Texas. Her NCAA basketball days were full of surprises and she managed to become the only NCAA player to ever score 2,000 points and block 500 shots to date. Before the start of her WNBA career, Brittney became a three-time All-American and was called the AP player of the year in 2012. She was also highlighted as the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Her career highlights and awards include:

  1. WBCA High School Player in 2009.
  2. WNBA All-Rookie team in 2013.
  3. 3 x All-WNBA second team in 2015, 2017, and 2018.
  4. 3x WNBA All-defensive First team in 2014, 2015, and 2018.
  5. 2 x WNBA defensive player of the year award in 2014 and 2015.
  6. 4 x WNBA All-defensive second team in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2021.
  7. 3 x Russian National League Championship from 2015 to 2017.
  8. 4 x Euro-League champion in 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2021.
  9. NCAA champion in 2012.
  10. Honda Sports Award in 2012.
  11. 2 x First-team All-American – AP in 2011 and 2012.
  12. 3 Big 12 Player of the year between 2011 and 2013.
  13. McDonald’s’s All-American in 2009.
  14. Her recent highlight is the WNBA’s W25 Greatest of All Time (2021)

Fun facts about Brittney Griner: She wears US shoe size 17. She also has an arm span of 87.5 inches.

3. Zheng Haixia: 6 feet 8.5 inches

Zheng Haixia
Image Source: @detailsgroup
  • Listed height: 6 feet 8.5 inches (2.03 meters)
  • Listed weight:28 pounds (104 kgs)
  • Status: Retired
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Age: 54 (Born on March 7, 1967)
  • Position: Center
  • Years active: 1983 – 1998
  • Career history: Los Angeles Sparks (1997-1998)
  • Notable awards, highlights, and achievements: Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award (1997) – first Asian player to get honored by WNBA

Zheng Haixia played for the China Women’s national basketball team and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) between 1983 and 1998. Her international career in China began in 1983 when she joined the Basketball World Championship and came in at the third position.

She managed to get a spot in the Chinese basketball national team and 1986, led the team to 2nd position in the World Championship. She also played a part in helping the Chinese team win the silver award during the Barcelona Olympics. She did not stop there, in 1993, her team won the East Asian Games and the National Games.

Needless to say, Zheng was a highly valued player and nothing could stop the WNBA from pouching her. However, she never left the Chinese basketball league and later retired in 1997. This is when she decided to make career changes as she moved to the United States and began to play for the Los Angeles Sparks.

Her WNBA was short-lived since she moved back to her home country in 1998. In China, she began coaching the PLA women’s team, a trajectory that befitted her to date. She is still a coach in China teaching young athletes to be exceptional at the game.

Her coaching career has given her many praises and achievements one of which is the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award – an award given to individuals who exemplify the ideals of sportsmanship on the court regarding ethical behavior, integrity, and fair play.

4. Maria Alexandrovna Stepanova: 6 feet 8 inches

Maria Alexandrovna Stepanova

  • Listed height: 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 meters)
  • Listed weight: 187 pounds (85 kgs)
  • Status: Active
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Age: 42 (Born on February 23, 1979)
  • Position: Center
  • Years active: 1998 – 2005
  • Career history: Phoenix Mercury (1998- 2001, and in 2005)
  • Notable awards, highlights, and achievements: 3 x FIBA Europe Women’s Player of the Year in 2005, 2006, and 2008, 3 x Russian Player of the year between 2005 and 2007.

Maria Stepanova has played for both Russian and American teams in her entire basketball career. It is however important to note that she is a native of the United States.  She is currently playing as the center for the Phoenix Mercury team.

Maria is the fourth-tallest player in the WNBA and wears a size 24 US shoe (48 EU size). Her notable honors include Master of Sports of Russia Honor, Medal of the Order for Merit to the Fatherland (1st class 2009), and 3 x FIBA Europe Women’s Player of the Year.

5. Elizabeth Cambage: 6 feet 8 inches

Elizabeth Cambage
Image Source: @ecambage
  • Listed height: 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 meters)
  • Listed weight: 235 pounds (107 kgs)
  • Status: Active
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Age: 30 (Born on August 18, 1991)
  • Position: Center
  • Years active: 2007 – Present
  • Career history: Dandenong Rangers (2007), Australian Institute of Sport (2007-2008), Bulleen Boomers (2009-2012), Tulsa Shock (2011), Zhejiang Chouzhou (2012-2013), Tulsa Shock (2013), Beijing Great Wall (2013-2014), Shanghai Swordfish (2015-2016), Melbourne Boomers (2017-2018), Dallas Wings (2018), Shanxi Flame (2018-2019), Las Vegas (2019-present), and Southside Flyers (2020).
  • Notable awards and achievements: 2 x WNBA All-Star in 2003 and 2006, 8 x WNBA blocks leader, and WNBA all-time bocks header.

Elizabeth, famously known as Liz, currently plays for the Las Vegas Aces in the Women’s National Basketball Association. She is both an American and Australian basketball player. At 6 feet 8 inches tall, Elizabeth is the fifth tallest woman in the WNBA.

Like most tall women, she was teased about her height throughout her school life. At age 10, Liz was 6 feet tall and had a hard time making friends. Her mother noticed she wasn’t happy with her circumstances and suggested she join the basketball team at the tender age of 10. She took her mom’s advice and she has never regretted it ever since. She is now one of the highly celebrated WNBA players of all time – a feat that has inspired a lot of young women with similar discriminations.

6. Lindsay Corine Taylor: 6 feet 8 inches

  • Listed height: 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 meters)
  • Listed weight: 200 pounds (91 kgs)
  • Status: Retired
  • Age: 40 (Born on May 20, 1981)
  • Position: Center
  • Years active: 2004 – 2015

Lindsay Taylor is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the WNBA, LFB, KBSL, Polish Women’s League, Angola Women’s Basketball League, and WCBA. She has a very extensive portfolio that you do not see from many WNBA players.

Her career managed to land her in 13 basketball seasons overseas despite being an American player. Her career history includes a huge number of teams which include:

  1. Phoenix Mercury (America) from 2004 to 2005.
  2. Botasspor Adana (Turkey) from 2005 to 2006 and in 2007.
  • Shinsegae Cool Cats (South Korea) in 2006.
  1. Lattes-Maurin Montpellier from 2006 to 2007.
  2. Energa Katarzynki Torun from 2007 to 2008.
  3. Nantes- Reze from 2009 to 2010 and in 2011
  • Quiking Yunman from 2010 to 2011, 2011-2012, and 2013-2014.
  • Guri KDB Life Winnus from 2014 to 2015.
  1. Primeiro de Agosto in 2015.
  2. Coach at Hamilton High School from 2015 to present as an assistant coach.

7. Katharen Ruth Mattera: 6 feet 7.5 inches

Katharen Ruth Mattera
Image Source: @tallgirlsfanpage
  • Listed height: 6 feet 7.5 inches (2.02 meters)
  • Listed weight: 240 pounds (109 kgs)
  • Status: Retired
  • Age: 38 (Born on November 17, 1982)
  • Position: Center
  • Years active: 2005 – 2009
  • Career history: San Antonio Silver Stars (2005 – 2006 and 2009), Detroit Shock (2007), Atlanta Dream (2008), and Chicago Sky (2009)
  • Notable awards and achievements: WNBA All-Rookie Team (2005)

Katharen Ruth is currently a coach at Liberty University where she has worked since 2019. She has been coaching for years, a career change that started at Cornerstone University. She coached the High School female basketball players at the university for over six years. Before then, Katharen had played in the WNBA for about 4 years.

Her career history took her from San Antonio Silver Stars to Detroit Shock, then Atlanta Dream, before she finished her professional playing career at Chicago Sky.

8. Kara Wolters Drinan: 6 feet 7 inches

Kara Wolters Drinan
Image Source: @shuyananahara86
  • Listed height: 6 feet 7 inches (2.02 meters)
  • Listed weight: 227 pounds (103 kgs)
  • Status: Retired
  • Age: 46 (Born on August 15, 1975)
  • Position: Center
  • Number: 52
  • Years active: 1999 – 2003
  • Career history: New England Blizzard (1997-1998), Houston Comets (1999), Indiana Fever (2000), and Sacramento Monarchs (2001-2002)
  • Notable awards, highlights, and achievements: WNBA champion (1999)

Kara Wolters, also known as ‘Big Girl’ – a name she got because of her 6 feet 7 inches height, is also another accomplished former WNBA player. She has many notes, honors, and awards which include:

  1. Gold Medal: 2000 Summer Olympics, 1999 US Olympic Cup, 1998 World Championship, 1997 World University Games, 1996 R. William Jones Cup.
  2. Silver medal: 1995: World University Games.
  • Bronze medal: 1994 World Championship.
  1. 1999-2000 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team.

9. Sylvia Shaqueria Fowles: 6 feet 6 inches

Sylvia Shaqueria Fowles
Image Source: @sylvia_fowles
  • Listed height: 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 meters)
  • Listed weight: 217 pounds (98 kgs)
  • Status: Active
  • Age: 36 (Born on October 6, 1985)
  • Position: Center
  • Years active: 2008 – present
  • Career history: Chicago sky (2008-2014), Spartak Moscow (2008-2010), Galatasaray Medical Park (2010-2013), Shanghai Swordfish (2013-2015), Canik Belediyesi (2015), Beijing Great Wall (2015-2018), and Minnesota Lynx (2015- Present)
  • Notable awards and achievements: 2 x WNBA champion in 2015 and 2017, 2 x WNBA final MVP, 7 x WNBA All-star

Sylvia Fowles is an active WNBA player who currently plays for Minnesota Lynx. Her career started at Chicago Sky in 2008 where she was selected 2nd overall during the year’s draft. At 6 feet 6 inches tall, Sylvia is the 9th tallest WNBA player in the past 20 years.

10. Carolyn Moos: 6 feet 6 inches

Carolyn Moos
Image Source: @carolynmoos
  • Listed height: 6 feet 5 inches (1.6 meters)
  • Status: Retired
  • Age: 43 (Born on May 23, 1978)
  • Position: Center
  • Number: 53
  • Years active: 1998 – 2008
  • Career history: Phoenix Mercury 2001), and Miami Sol (2002)
  • Notable achievements: 1996 USA Basketball Junior National Team, 1997 Nike/WBCA All-America, and 1996 USA Today Minnesota Player of the Year.

Carolyn Moos is the 10th tallest player in the WNBA for the past 20 years. She is retired and only played for Phoenix Mercury and Miami Sol. However, her career took her internationally where she played for the United States in countries like Austria, Slovakia, France, Brazil, and Mexico.

The Current (Active) Tallest WNBA player (2021 updated)

According to WNBA records, the tallest woman in the WNBA who is still active in 2021 is Britney Griner. She currently has 42 career games with five-plus blocks. She also has 25 career games with six-plus blocks. Britney has also recorded four-plus blocks in 75 of the 224 games of her career.

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