Who are really, the famous women basketball players. Women’s basketball has been around since the game first started, however few people took it seriously until the women’s game slowly built up steam through college, the Olympics, and now the WNBA.
“Babe Didrikson” was the first famous women basketball player, after she led her team to the 1931 AAU Championship. Men and women had yet to create a professional basketball league, so the AAU Championship was one of the highest honors a basketball team could win.
But even before the 1930’s, women were competing in collegiate competition. For example, the first women’s college basketball game took place in 1896 between Stanford and California-Berkeley. The final score was 2-1.
The game has really evolved from those days, when the rules utilized six players, on three different courts, with stationary guards and forwards. In fact, it wasn’t until 1970 that basketball adopted the standard five player, full court game we see today.
Nera “Air” White was another famous women’s basketball player that played collegiately in the 1950’s and 60’s. White was known for her amazing athleticism and often compared to the Michael Jordan of her gender.
In 1976, women’s basketball was added to the Olympics and finally in 1997 the United States created a professional basketball league for women known as the WNBA. The WNBA continues to entertain fans worldwide today, and some of the most famous women’s basketball players have grown out of the WNBA.
Lisa Leslie: Leslie broke record books, becoming the first player ever to dunk in the WNBA. The 6’5 Lisa Leslie has become one of the more recognizable and popular women’s basketball players of all-time.
She currently plays for the Los Angeles Sparks and is a two time WNBA champion, three time league MVP, and four time Olympic gold medalist. She will retire at the end of the 2009 WNBA season. Leslie currently ranks #2 all-time in the WNBA in rebounds and rebounds per game, as well as #1 in blocks and blocks per game.
Rebecca Lobo: Lobo was another fellow center, standing at 6’4 and had several interesting clashes with Leslie throughout her outstanding college and professional career. Lobo won the 1995 National Championship at Connecticut where she led the Huskies to a perfect 35-0 record.
She also helped spark interest and fans to the WNBA when it was first founded, and played five solid seasons before ending her career with a nasty ACL injury. Today, her face is well recognized as a women’s basketball analyst for ESPN.
Sheryl Swoopes: Another WNBA superstar, Swoopes is highly recognized as one of the most famous women’s basketball players of all-time. Swoopes is a three time WNBA league MVP and Olympic gold medalist. She is often referred to as the Michael Jordan of her sport.
Candace Parker: Parker is one of the brightest women’s basketball stars in the world. After she left the University of Tennessee with one of the most dominating four-year careers, which included two national championships, Parker was drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks.
The 6’4 Parker is well known for winning a high school all star game dunk contest (all the other participants were men), as well as being the first college player to dunk in a game, and the second player to dunk in a WNBA game. She is one of the most athletic and versatile WNBA players of all-time.
These six women all had a very powerful and sensational impact on the current WNBA and women’s basketball around the world. They’re all famous women basketball players and they deserve every ounce of respect they receive.