When asked if the WNBA should lower its rims from 10 feet, the same height as the NBA goalposts, Diana Taurasi said, “Might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen.”

The concept of lowering the rims in the WNBA is a largely controversial topic, mostly due to outside viewers arguing for it. Opinions among the league vary, but it’s safe to say many vets don’t want it to happen. Those arguing for it say they want to see more above-the-rim action in the league, to see women dunk like those in the NBA.

Because of the player-to-rim difference, the game is played at a different speed and in a different style. As a result, dunking is rare but not impossible. 

Since the league’s inaugural season in 1997, dunking has become ever so slightly more common. Those who like seeing it can thank Brittney Griner. When the Phoenix center has the chance to do so, she takes it. However, she wasn’t the first to dunk in a WNBA game and she certainly won’t be the last.

Here’s a look at the history of dunking in the WNBA.

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Who was the first WNBA player to dunk?

Only eight players have ever dunked in a WNBA game, whether it be during the regular season, playoffs or All-Star Game.

The first came in 2002 when Lisa Leslie made her first dunk for the Sparks during a breakaway against the Miami Sol. She recorded her second dunk in the 2005 All-Star Game. 

Candace Parker, who recently announced her retirement, recorded two dunks during her rookie season. That year she won the WNBA Rookie of the Year and MVP award, the only player to win both in the same season. She’s the shortest to successfully slam the ball at 6-4.

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Australian Liz Cambage dunked in a WNBA game in 2018, six years after she became the first woman to dunk in an Olympic basketball game.

Only two active WNBA players have dunked in a game: Griner and Jonquel Jones. The Mercury star by far and wide holds the record for most career dunks with 26. No other player has dunked more than twice.

Other players who have dunked include Michelle Snow, Sylvia Fowles and Awak Kuier, who plays for the Wings but will forgo the 2024 season. The Chicago Tribune reported that then-Sky star Elena Delle Donne dunked on a regulation hoop in practice, though she never did during a regulation game.

Together, the eight stars dunked 37 total times in the WNBA. Fans can expect that number to rise this season as the conversation around dunking becomes more prominent. 

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How many times has Brittney Griner dunked in the WNBA?

At 6-9, one of the tallest to ever play in the league, it’s no surprise Griner holds such a distinguished record.

She made her first of 26 dunks as a rookie in 2013. 18 of them (so far) came in the regular season while six were in All-Star Games and two in the playoffs.

Griner recorded six alone in the 2021 season and two in 2023, her latest during the All-Star Game.

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