The Tallest WNBA Players: Meet The Basketball Giants Towering Over NBA Stars

The Tallest WNBA Players: Meet The Basketball Giants Towering Over NBA Stars

In the competitive world of women’s basketball, there are some who rise above the crowd, both literally and figuratively. Margo Dydek holds the lofty title of being the tallest WNBA player ever. She stood at a huge 7’2″, nearly two feet bigger than the average woman in the US (5’4″), and seven inches taller than the average NBA player (6’7″). At 6’11”, Han Xu is the tallest player in the WNBA right now.

In this article, we’ll look at the 10 tallest WNBA players ever, the tallest current WNBA players, and the average height of women in the WNBA.

Top 10 Tallest WNBA Players Ever

1. Margo Dydek – 7’2″ (218cm) – Poland

The biggest WNBA player ever, and the only player in league history to stand over seven feet tall, was Margo Dydek, who was the first overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft. She was selected by the Utah Starzz and had a long career in the WNBA with three different teams where she was a two-time All-Star and eight-time blocks leader.

Dydek also had a stellar European and International career, helping Poland to win the EuroBasket Women in 1999. Tragically, Margo Dydek died at the age of just 37 after suffering a cardiac arrest at home.

2. Han Xu – 6’11 (211cm) – China

Nikolina Milic and Han Xu
Image credit: John Mac/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Han Xu is the second tallest WNBA player, and often gets compared to her compatriot, NBA legend, Yao Ming. Like Ming, Xu is known for her extraordinary height and uses this weapon to her advantage on the court.

Xu was drafted by the New York Liberty in 2019 and has had a decent career so far, averaging 5.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Internationally, she helped China win the silver medal in the 2022 World Cup, and gold at the 2023 Asia Cup.

3. Bernadett Hatar – 6’10” (208cm) – Hungary

Another European, Bernadett Hatar comes in at number three on our list and is the current Centre for The Connecticut Sun. Unlike Dydek, Hatar is relatively inexperienced in the WNBA and has just 13 career appearances in the league. Across her WNBA career, Bernadett Hatar has averaged 3.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

4. Brittney Griner – 6’9″ (205cm) – USA

Brittney Griner
Image credit: Lorie Shaull/Flickr, CC BY 2.0 

Brittney Griner is the tallest American to ever play in the WNBA and a true great of the modern era. A nine-time WNBA All-Star and 2014 WNBA champion with the Phoenix Mercury, Griner is one of the most recognizable female basketball players in the US.

Unfortunately for Griner, this isn’t solely for sporting reasons. The Houston native was at the center of an international diplomatic crisis in 2022 when she was arrested and held for several months on drug smuggling charges in Russia.

Luckily this was resolved and Griner returned to the WNBA in 2023, when she averaged 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Brittney is also one of the richest WNBA players.

5. (tie) Haixia Zheng – 6’8″ (203cm) – China

Haixia Zheng is one of the tallest players to ever play in the WNBA, and her stature made her an intimidating proposition on the court. In addition to her impressive height, Zheng weighed 250lb during her time in the WNBA, which made life even more difficult for her opponents.

She is an Olympic bronze and silver medalist with the Chinese national team. In 1997, she became the first Asian and International player to win a WNBA award, when she received the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.

5. (tie) Maria Stepanova – 6’8″ (203cm) – Russia

Maria Stepanova was selected by the Phoenix Mercury, with the 8th overall pick of the 1998 WNBA draft. She stayed in the NBA for three years, before moving to Korea to play for the KB Stars.

Stepanova won two Olympic bronze medals while representing Russia, and was awarded the FIBA Europe Women’s Player of the Year a record three times between 2005 and 2008.

5. (tie) Liz Cambage – 6’8″ (203cm) – Australia

Liz Cambage
Image credit: Lorie Shaull/Flickr, CC BY 2.0 

Liz Cambage played six seasons with three teams in the WNBA between 2011 and 2022, and was a four-time All-Star. During the 2019 playoffs, she averaged an impressive 23.6 points per game for the Las Vegas Aces, but the team fell to the Washington Mystics in the semifinals.

As well as the WNBA, Cambage has played for teams in Australia, China, and Israel. She’s also won medals at the Olympics, FIBA World Cup, and Commonwealth Games whilst representing Australia.

5. (tie) Lindsay Taylor – 6’8″ (203cm) – USA

Another well-traveled giant-of-the-game, Lindsay Taylor played two seasons in the WNBA (and missed another due to injury) and represented clubs in Turkey, Korea, China, France, Poland, and Angola across a 20-year career.

Taylor also enjoyed a stellar college career. In 2014 she was elected to the UC Santa Barbara Hall of Fame, thanks to holding records as their all-time leading point scorer, blocker, and most accurate shooter.

5. (tie) Razija Mujanović – 6’8″ (203cm) – Bosnia

Razija Mujanović is the joint fifth tallest WNBA player ever, and the last on our list who stands at 6’8″ tall. Despite having a career that spanned 27 years, she played just one season in the WNBA, where she averaged 9.1 points and 5.1 rebounds for the Detroit Shock.

Mujanović was primarily known as a force in the European game, where she won four EuroLeague titles, and twelve national championships with various clubs. She was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017 and won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, representing Yugoslavia.

10. Katie Feenstra-Mattera – 6’7.5″ (202 cm) – USA

Katie Feenstra towers over Pee Wee Johnson and Ivory Latta
Image credit: Dave Hogg/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Katie Mattera played in the WNBA for five seasons following an outstanding college career at Liberty University that saw her nominated for the Naismith Award. She made the 2005 WNBA All-Rookie Team, but her professional career never reached the same heights as college.

After retiring as a player, she returned to Liberty as an assistant coach. She has also held the head coach position at Cornerstone University.

Who Is The Tallest WNBA Player Right Now?

Han Xu, who stands at 6’11” tall, is the tallest current WNBA player. She is 3.5 inches taller than the average NBA player’s height, and the second-tallest player in WNBA history. Xu plays as a center for the New York Liberty and is 24 years old.

The Other Tallest Current WNBA Players

As of the 2024 season, there are 10 WNBA players that are 6’6” or above. They are:

  1. Han Xu: 6’11” (New York Liberty)
  2. Bernadett Hatar: 6’10” (Connecticut Sun)
  3. Brittney Griner: 6’9” (Phoenix Mercury)
  4. Kamilla Cardoso: 6’7” (Chicago Sky)
  5. Kalani Brown: 6’7” (Dallas Wings)
  6. Teaira McCowan: 6’7” (Dallas Wings)
  7. Elizabeth Kitley: 6’6” (Las Vegas Aces)
  8. Azura Stevens: 6’6” (Los Angeles Sparks)
  9. Jonquel Jones: 6’6” (New York Liberty)
  10. Mercedes Russell: 6’6” (Seattle Storm)
Leilani Mitchell, Brittney Griner and teammates
Image credit: Lorie Shaull/Flickr, CC BY 2.0 

How Tall Are WNBA Players On Average?

According to 2023 data, the average height of a WNBA player was 6’1″ but the average varies greatly depending on position. WNBA centers have an average height of 6’4″, forwards 6’2″ and guards 6’.

In contrast, the average height of an NBA player is a whopping 6’6.5″ inches.

Dallas Wings guard Crystal Dangerfield is the shortest player in the WNBA, standing at just 5’5″, which is the same height as Earl Boykins, the second shortest player in NBA history.

Does Height Really Matter?

Height is undoubtedly an advantage on the basketball court, but you have to know how to use it. As detailed above, the tallest players in WNBA history aren’t necessarily the best. Two of the best players ever, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and Diana Taurasi, are 5’10” and 6’ respectively, which shows no matter your height, you can still get it done on the court.

Lead image credit: Lorie Shaull/Flickr, CC BY 2.0