Spectacular dunks bring in the fans. A dunker should have the physique and the athleticism to execute a throw-down. Although it is a high-percentage shot, it isn’t easy to make, but a crowd-pleaser.
Dunks are common in every NBA game but rarely seen in the WNBA. Since the league’s launch in 1997, the WNBA has had eight dunk family members performing 30 dunks. Brittney Griner outdistances them all, and she has the most dunks in WNBA history all time with 20.
Check out this material for information about female slammers.
How Many Dunks in WNBA History
Dunks make basketball exciting; the difficulty level ranges from average to poster plays. Players execute various dunks, like alley-oop, windmill, tomahawk, reverse, between the legs, 360 degrees, double pump, rock the cradle, elbow hang, and off the backboard, among others.
While it’s normal to see NBA players dunk in every game, it’s rare in the WNBA. So far, there have been 30 dunks recorded in the WNBA since its inception in 1997. Only eight female ballers have broken the 10-foot barrier.
Who Was the First Player to Dunk in WNBA?
Lisa Leslie, playing for the Los Angeles Sparks, made the first WNBA dunk in a game against the Miami Sol on July 30, 2002. That year she posted over 3,000 points for the first WNBA player to accomplish the feat and helped the Sparks to a two-peat WNBA title. On February 4, 2009, Leslie hung her jersey, owning the league’s records for most points (6,263) and rebounds (3,307).
Outside the WNBA, female athletes made official dunks before Leslie’s achievement. On December 21, 1984, Georgeann Wells with West Virginia University (WVU) made history with a slam dunk against the University of Charleston (UC) to record the first official dunk in a women’s collegiate game. Cardte Hicks holds a 40″ vertical and completed a two-handed alley-oop slammer during a professional game in the Netherlands in 1978.
Top 8 WNBA Players Who Can Dunk
Slam dunks are fun to watch, they are sure of two points, but it’s hard to execute. A dunker defies the law of gravity, has excellent athletic abilities, and is a risk-taker to perform a slam.
Dunks in women’s basketball games are few. Female athletes don’t have the physique and athleticism that male basketeers got to dunk. The average height of an NBA player is 6’6″ (1.98 m), and WNBA players are 5’8″ (1.73 m) tall. However, height is only part of the problem; on average, male athletes jump 28 inches (0.71 m) while their female counterparts leap 19 inches (0.48 m).
WNBA coaches advise their players not to dunk for fear of injuries or a botched two points.
Despite only some rim-rattling dunks, these special moments make basketball exciting. Every player on this list makes them the top WNBA dunkers of all time.
1. Lisa Leslie (2 dunks)
Lisa Leslie is acknowledged as the first WNBA player to complete a successful dunk officially. On July 9, 2005, there was a repeat against the same Miami Sol team.
2. Michelle Snow (1 dunk)
A year after Leslie’s second dunk Michelle Snow made the third dunk in a reverse fashion in the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game.
3. Candace Parker (2 dunks)
In 2008, Candace Parker was the first WNBA player to dunk twice in consecutive regular-season games.
Dunking is nothing new to Parker. As a 17-year-old, she was the first female to win the McDonald’s High School All-American Dunk Contest in 2004. Parker bested future NBA players: Rudy Gay, Josh Smith, and J.R. Smith.
If you’re interested in learning Candace Parker’s story, check out this basketball biography book.
4. Sylvia Fowles (2 dunks)
Like Snow, Sylva Fowles made her official dunk in an All-Star Game in 2009. It was an uncontested dunk but good enough to enter the record book.
In the 2022 All-Star Games, Fowles intercepted a pass and went for a fastbreak jammer along with a three-pointer in the first quarter.
5. Brittney Griner (20 dunks)
|May 27, 2013||Phoenix Mercury||Chicago Sky|
|May 27, 2013||Phoenix Mercury||Chicago Sky|
|July 6, 2014||Phoenix Mercury||LA Sparks|
|July 15, 2014||Phoenix Mercury||Wahington Mystics|
|July 19, 2014||West All-Stars||Easy All-Stars|
|August 24, 2014||Phoenix Mercury||LA Sparks|
|July 5, 2015||Phoenix Mercury||LA Sparks|
|July 25, 2015||West All-Stars||East All Stars|
|August 28, 2015||Phoenix Mercury||Washington Mystics|
|September 11, 2015||Phoenix Mercury||LA Sparks|
|September 2, 2016||Phoenix Mercury||Connecticut Sun|
|June 23, 2017||Phoenix Mercury||Seattle Storm|
|July 12, 2017||Phoenix Mercury||Atlanta Dream|
|June 14, 2019||Phoenix Mercury||LA Sparks|
|May 29, 2021||Phoenix Mercury||Dallas Wings|
|June 3, 2021||Phoenix Mercury||Chicago Sky|
|August 25, 2021||Phoenix Mercury||Chicago Sky|
|September 11, 2021||Phoenix Mercury||Connecticut Sun|
|September 17, 2021||Phoenix Mercury||Seattle Storm|
|October 13, 2021||Phoenix Mercury||Chicago Sky|
Brittney Griner’s record speaks for itself; her 20 dunks beat all the WNBA dunkers combined. She is the only WNBA player with two slams in a game against the LA Sparks in her debut game on May 27, 2013. Griner is the first WNBA player to dunk in a playoff game and the Finals.
Griner was a pure athlete exploding into the college scene with the Lady Bears team of Baylor University. She led the team to a 40-0 record in 2012 and the NCAA Division I championship. During Griner’s four seasons at Baylor, she turned in 3,283 points, 1,305 rebounds, 748 blocks, a 57 percent shooting clip, and a win-loss record of 135-15.
On February 17, 2022, Griner was detained in Russia on drug charges. She was caught carrying hash oil, prescribed medicinal cannabis in Arizona but banned in Russia. Politicians think Griner is being used as political leverage in the ongoing Western sanctions against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
6. Jonquel Jones (1 dunk)
Jonquel Jones’s slam was in an All-Star Game in 2017, similar to Fowles, and it was unchallenged. Nevertheless, the effort shows that women can dunk, and she did it on a nationally televised show.
7. Liz Cambage (1 dunk)
Liz Cambage did a dunk in the 2018 All-Star Game and another in the 2012 London Olympics against team Russia.
8. Awak Kuier (1 dunk)
Finnish Awak Kuier, playing center for the Dallas Wings, became the eighth member of the WNBA dunk club.
In a game against the Seattle Storm on June 10, 2022, Kuier stole a pass and streaked to the front court for a one-hand throw-down.
Wrapping Things Up: The Top 8 WNBA Dunkers of All Time
So far, there are eight top WNBA dunkers of all time breaking the glass with 30 slams. These women have excited fans with their jammers pushing the WNBA to new heights.
The dunks of a few WNBA players were simple, while some were remarkable. Though the feat may look ordinary, it is a step in the right direction. In due time more female athletes will fly high with the skill of their NBA counterparts.
Tons of up-and-comers are in line eager to light up the in-game dunk stats in the WNBA. Francesca “Fran” Belibi don the Stanford Cardinal jersey, and she led the school to win the 2021 NCAA championship. She was the first female alley-oop dunker in a Colorado high school game and the second female dunker to win the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2019 next to Candace Parker.
Sooner or later, dunks may be a common sight in the WNBA.
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