The 13 Tallest WNBA Players (Past & Present)

Tallest WNBA Players

There are certain aspects of both the men and women’s game that are identical. The team that controls the paint on offense and defense stands an excellent chance of winning.

There are different methods of going about achieving that objective, but one of the easiest ways is to plant a taller player near the basket. In theory, they should be able to gobble up rebounds and serve as an impediment against opposing players taking the ball to the hoop.

We’ll crane our necks to pay homage to the tallest group of current WNBA players, as well as the vertically gifted from the league’s past.

 

Tallest Current WNBA Players

Han Xu, 6’11”

She was born on Halloween just before the turn of the century in China, but there’s nothing tricky about Xu’s game; what you see is what you get. In fact, she’s become a fan favorite with the New York Liberty faithful.

She’s been in the WNBA for 3 seasons, and has played in New York for each campaign. She received a solid amount of playing time in 2022, averaging over 8 points a game in nearly 17 minutes of action per night.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Xu and the Liberty in the next couple of years. She becomes a restricted free agent after the 2024 season, which means that New York will have to match any offer Xu receives from another franchise.

Brittney Griner, 6’9”

For many different reasons that extend well beyond the basketball court, it’s very likely that Griner is the most popular WNBA player right now. She was detained in Russia for almost 10 months, which prompted basketball fans and concerned citizens alike to protest for her return to the United States.

Before the prolonged episode, Griner proved that she was one of the best rim protectors the WNBA has ever seen. She’s averaged nearly 3 blocks per game for her entire career, punctuated by her 4 block per game season back in 2015.

After a year away from the WNBA, it seems like Griner is motivated to remind the competition just how potent she can be. She’s on pace to set a new career high in points per game.

Teaira McCowan, 6’7”

The Dallas Wings had high hopes for McCowan after they acquired her from the Indiana Fever in a blockbuster trade. The expectation was that she would hold down the pivot for many years to come, as she was only 25 when the transaction took place.

Her first season in Dallas was commendable, as she averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds per game. McCowan also set a career high in field goal percentage, which seemed to show that she had become a more efficient scorer after the change of scenery.

2023 has been a bit rocky for McCowan, as she’s missed most of the season due to injury. It remains to be seen if she will make a difference in Dallas’ rotation down the stretch.

Kalani Brown, 6’7”

McCowan’s struggles might be Brown’s gain. The Wings have doubled down on depth in their frontcourt, and have deployed Brown for a sizeable role so far in the 2023 season.

Brown has bounced around a little in the WNBA, having played for three teams in four seasons. However, there’s no questioning her raw talent, as she was the 7th overall pick in the 2019 Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks.

Before playing in the WNBA, Brown had a sensational career at Baylor University. She finished her college tenure averaging 15 points per game to go along with 7 rebounds.

Mercedes Russell, 6’6”

When given the opportunity, Russell has shown that she can grab rebounds at an impressive clip. She had that chance in 2019 and 2021—in 25 minutes per game, she hauled in 6 boards per night.

After starting her career with the Liberty, Russell has been a mainstay with the Seattle Storm for the last 5 seasons. Her roles have fluctuated based on what the team has needed, but she’s won two rings during her time in Seattle.

Russell spent her college days at the University of Tennessee. While with the Volunteers, she nearly averaged a double-double as a junior and senior.

Azura Stevens, 6’6”

Although she hasn’t quite found a home so far during her WNBA career, Stevens has shown that she’s a well-rounded player. The former UConn player has played for the Dallas Wings, Chicago Sky, and the Las Vegas Aces.

Stevens has done a little bit of everything, as she’s scored, blocked shots and knocked down free throws at a strong rate. She’s also versatile in the sense that she brings it each night whether she’s in the starting lineup or coming off the bench.

Before spending her final year in college at UConn, Stevens was a standout player at Duke University. She averaged nearly 19 points per game in her second season with Duke.

 

Tallest Former WNBA Players

Margo Dydek, 7’2”

Dydek is the tallest player in WNBA history and had a distinguished career. The Utah Starzz took the promising prospect out of Poland with the first selection in the 1998 Draft, and she did not disappoint.

As one might imagine, Dydek shut down the paint with her size and ability to change shots at the rim. In her 11 year WNBA career, she averaged over 2 blocks in 9 seasons, making her one of the best in that category in league history.

Dydek would be recognized with individual accolades later in her career, as she made the All-Star team with the San Antonio Silver Stars and Connecticut Sun. She also made the All-Defensive Second Team in 2006 and 2007.

Bernadett Hatar, 6’10”

It’s possible that Hatar will resurface in the WNBA at some point, as the Hungarian is not yet 30 years of age. However, she’s only had a brief cup of coffee in the league to this point.

The Indiana Fever decided to bring her on in 2021, and she appeared in 7 games for the team, starting in 2 of them. She averaged nearly 5 points per game in 15 minutes of action.

The Fever have continued to keep close tabs on Hatar, as she’s been part of the team’s training camp each of the last two years. If the team suffers some injuries to their frontcourt, there’s a chance Hatar could be called upon to fill out the rotation.

Haixia Zheng, 6’8”

Zheng had a brief 2-year career in the WNBA, but was an important figure during the early days of the league. She played for the Los Angeles Sparks alongside Lisa Leslie, and showed that the women’s game was going to leverage international talent right away.

The Chinese center had a solid rookie year, averaging 9 points and 4 rebounds per game. Los Angeles started Zheng in 21 out of the 28 games she played in.

The following season would end up being her last in the WNBA, as she only played in 6 games for the Sparks.

Liz Cambage, 6’8”

To say that Cambage has had a fascinating life might be something of an understatement. She was born in the United Kingdom, but spent her formative years growing up in Australia.

Cambage is on the short list of best players to ever come out of Australia, although she’s only sporadically represented her country in the Olympics due a myriad of factors.

She’s a four-time WNBA All-Star, but has had a discontinuous run in the league. She played for the Tulsa Shock in 2011 and 2013, the Dallas Wings in 2018, the Las Vegas Aces in 2019 and 2021, and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2022.

Olga Firsova, 6’8”

Firsova’s WNBA career lasted all of 9 games, and she only got off the bench sporadically. She averaged a couple of minutes during those appearances, coming in when the game was already well in hand.

She hails from Ukraine, and was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2000 Draft by the New York Liberty.

Katie Mattera, 6’8”

Mattera spent five years in the WNBA, playing for San Antonio, Detroit, Atlanta and Chicago. She was a rotational piece throughout her time in the league, which came to an end in 2009.

She was a member of the inaugural Atlanta Dream franchise, which came into existence in 2008.

Mattera was an absolute force in college, having averaged over 10 rebounds a game as an upperclassman at Liberty.

Maria Stepanova, 6’8”

Stepanova had an intriguing career trajectory in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. She spent 5 non-consecutive years with the Phoenix Mercury, from 1998-2000, 2001 and 2005.

The Russian wasn’t a huge part of Phoenix’s plans in the first three years of her career, which seemed to indicate Stepanova wasn’t cut out for the WNBA. However, when she returned to the Mercury in 2001 and 2005, she was a completely different player.

Getting the minutes she didn’t receive early on, Stepanova became a respected shot blocker who contributed on the offensive end as well.

 

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