Beyond the Size

Short But Mighty: WNBA’s Elite Players Under 5’8

Shortest WNBA Players with Great Careers

When people think of elite basketball players, they typically think of players who are taller than six feet. However, there are many players in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) who have achieved greatness despite their height.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the shortest players in WNBA history who have had great careers.

Shannon Bobbitt – 5-foot-2

Shannon Bobbitt is one of the shortest players to play in the WNBA, standing at just 5-foot-2. However, her height did not stop her from having a great career.

Bobbitt played for the Tennessee Volunteers in college and won two national championships with the team. In the WNBA, Bobbitt played for the Los Angeles Sparks and helped them win a championship in 2009.

Debbie Black – 5-foot-2.5

Debbie Black has a career that is similar to Bobbitt’s in many ways. Black is also 5-foot-2.5 and played for the St. Josephs in college.

In the WNBA, she played for the Utah Starzz and the Miami Sol. Despite her height, Black was a great defender and was known for her quick hands.

Tameka Johnson – 5-foot-3

Tameka Johnson is another player who stands at just 5-foot-3 but has had a great career in the WNBA. Johnson played for LSU in college and went on to play for several WNBA teams, including the Washington Mystics.

She won a championship with the Seattle Storm in 2010.

Brooke McCarty-Williams – 5-foot-4

Brooke McCarty-Williams is the shortest player on this list who is still currently playing in the WNBA. At 5-foot-4, she plays for the Dallas Wings and has also played basketball in Sweden.

Despite going undrafted, McCarty-Williams has proven to be a valuable addition to the Wings roster.

Leilani Mitchell – 5-foot-5

Leilani Mitchell is another player who stands at just 5-foot-5 but has had a great career in the WNBA. Mitchell played for the University of Utah in college and has played for several WNBA teams, including the Phoenix Mercury.

She has won the Most Improved Player Award twice in her career.

Heather Butler – 5-foot-5

Heather Butler is a retired WNBA player who stood at just 5-foot-5. She played college basketball for Tennessee-Martin and played for the San Antonio Stars in the WNBA.

Despite her height, Butler was a great scorer and finished her college career with over 3,000 points.

Crystal Dangerfield – 5-foot-5

Crystal Dangerfield is the most recent addition to this list. Standing at just 5-foot-5, she played for the University of Connecticut in college and was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in 2020.

She was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year in her first season.

Dymond Simon – 5-foot-5

Dymond Simon stands at 5-foot-5 and had a great college career at Arizona State University. She went undrafted but was signed by the Phoenix Mercury and played for the team for several seasons.

She finished her WNBA career with over 200 assists and 100 steals.

Andrea Riley – 5-foot-5

Andrea Riley played for the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA and stands at just 5-foot-5. She played college basketball for the Oklahoma State Cowgirls and won the Nancy Lieberman Award in 2010.

Despite her size, Riley was a great scorer and finished her college career with over 3,000 points.

Shyla Heal – 5-foot-6

Shyla Heal is a 5-foot-6 Australian basketball player who was drafted by the Chicago Sky in 2021. She has also played in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) in Australia.

Despite her height, Heal has proven to be a great player and has a bright future ahead of her.

Dana Evans – 5-foot-6

Dana Evans is another 5-foot-6 player who has had a great career in basketball. She played for the Louisville Cardinals in college and was drafted by the Chicago Sky in 2021.

She was named the ACC Player of the Year in 2020.

Jamierra Faulkner – 5-foot-6

Jamierra Faulkner is a retired WNBA player who stands at just 5-foot-6. She played for the Chicago Sky and had a brief stint with the Atlanta Dream.

Despite her size, Faulkner was a great passer and finished her WNBA career with over 200 assists.

Moriah Jefferson – 5-foot-6

Moriah Jefferson played for the UConn women’s basketball team in college and was drafted by the San Antonio Stars in the WNBA. She stands at 5-foot-6 and has since played for the Las Vegas Aces and the Dallas Wings.

Jordin Canada – 5-foot-6

Jordin Canada stands at just 5-foot-6 but has had a great career in the WNBA. She played for the UCLA Bruins in college and was drafted by the Seattle Storm in 2018.

She won a championship with the team in 2018 and has since become a valuable player for the team.

Kristi Toliver – 5-foot-7

Kristi Toliver is a 5-foot-7 player who has had a great career in the WNBA. She played college basketball for the Maryland Terrapins and currently plays for the Chicago Sky.

Toliver is known for her three-point shooting and has won two WNBA championships in her career.

Aari McDonald – 5-foot-7

Aari McDonald stands at just 5-foot-7 but has a bright future ahead of her in the WNBA. She played for the University of Arizona in college and was drafted by the Atlanta Dream in 2021.

She helped lead her team to the NCAA tournament in her final college season.

Riquna Williams – 5-foot-7

Riquna Williams is a 5-foot-7 player who has played for several WNBA teams throughout her career. She played college basketball for the Miami Hurricanes and was named to the WNBA All-Rookie team in her first season.

Bria Nicole Hartley – 5-foot-8

Bria Nicole Hartley stands at 5-foot-8 and has had a great career in the WNBA. She played college basketball for the UConn women’s basketball team and has played for several teams in the WNBA, including the Seattle Storm and the Washington Mystics.

Ariel Atkins – 5-foot-8

Ariel Atkins is another 5-foot-8 player who has had great success in the WNBA. She played for the University of Texas in college and currently plays for the Washington Mystics.

Atkins has won a championship with the team and is known for her three-point shooting.

Briann January – 5-foot-8

Briann January is the final player on this list and stands at 5-foot-8. She played college basketball for Arizona State University and has played for several WNBA teams, including the Indiana Fever and the Seattle Storm.

She has had a great career as a defender and has won a championship with the Storm. Height and Performance in Women’s Basketball

In basketball, height is often seen as one of the most important factors in determining a player’s success.

This is especially true in the NBA, where most players are over six feet tall. However, in women’s basketball, height is not always an indicator of success.

Tall Players in Women’s Basketball

While height is not always necessary for success in women’s basketball, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Some of the greatest players in WNBA history are over six feet tall.

For example, Lisa Leslie, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, is 6-foot-5. Candace Parker, another WNBA legend, is also 6-foot-5.

It’s safe to say that being tall can give players an advantage in women’s basketball.

The Tallest WNBA Player

The tallest player in WNBA history is Margo Dydek, who stood at a towering 7 feet 2 inches tall. Dydek was a dominant force on the court, especially on the defensive end.

She is still the WNBA’s all-time leader in blocked shots. Dydek passed away in 2011, but her legacy lives on in the league.

Coordination Between Short and Tall Players

While being tall can be an advantage in women’s basketball, it’s not always necessary. Shorter players can still be successful if they know how to play to their strengths.

One way for shorter players to be successful is by cooperating with taller teammates. For example, a shorter point guard can work well with a taller center by setting up the center for easy layups and rebounds.

Short Players Contributing to Teams

Shorter players have also helped some WNBA teams get better in their form. For example, when Shannon Bobbitt was playing for the Los Angeles Sparks, she was a key player in helping the team win a championship.

Similarly,

Tameka Johnson was a valuable member of the Seattle Storm when they won a championship in 2010. These players prove that height isn’t always necessary for success in women’s basketball.

In conclusion, height is not always necessary for success in women’s basketball. Some of the shortest players in WNBA history have had great careers and have helped their teams win championships.

While being tall can be an advantage, shorter players can still be successful if they know how to play to their strengths.

WNBA Draft and Career

The WNBA draft is an annual event where the league’s 12 teams select new players to join their rosters. The draft first took place in 1997 and has been held every year since.

Draft position can be an indicator of a player’s potential success, but as we have seen with some of the shortest WNBA players with successful careers, it is not the only determining factor. In this section, we will look at some players who were drafted or undrafted and went on to have successful WNBA careers.

2008 WNBA Draft – Shannon Bobbitt

Shannon Bobbitt was a standout player at the University of Tennessee and became a national champion in the NCAA tournament twice. Despite her success in college, she was not expected to be drafted highly in the 2008 WNBA draft.

However, the Los Angeles Sparks saw her potential and drafted her with the 15th overall pick. Bobbitt went on to have a successful career in the WNBA, winning a championship with the Sparks in 2009.

WNBA Rookie of the Year –

Tameka Johnson

Tameka Johnson was a standout player in college, playing for Louisiana State University. She was selected by the Washington Mystics with the 6th overall pick in the 2005 WNBA draft.

In her rookie season, Johnson proved herself to be a valuable addition to the Mystics roster, receiving the Rookie of the Year award. She went on to have a successful career, winning a championship with the Phoenix Mercury in 2009.

Undrafted WNBA Players

Not all successful WNBA players were drafted in the annual draft. Some players had to prove themselves in other ways before being signed to a team.

Here are some examples of undrafted WNBA players who went on to have successful careers.

Brooke McCarty-Williams

Despite a successful college career at the University of Texas,

Brooke McCarty-Williams went undrafted in the 2018 WNBA draft. However, her talent did not go unnoticed.

She signed with the Swedish team Lulea Basket and played for them during the WNBA offseason. McCarty-Williams was eventually signed by the Dallas Wings and has become a valuable player for the team.

Heather Butler

Heather Butler is another undrafted player who was able to have a successful career in the WNBA. She played for Tennessee-Martin in college and was eventually signed by the San Antonio Stars.

Butler played for the Stars for two seasons before retiring to pursue a career in coaching.

Dymond Simon

Dymond Simon went undrafted after playing for Arizona State University in college. However, she was signed by the Phoenix Mercury and played for the team for four seasons.

Simon was known for her passing and ability to create scoring opportunities for her teammates.

Success After Undrafted

Playing in the WNBA is not the only path to success for female basketball players. There are many opportunities to play professionally overseas or in other basketball leagues.

Here are some examples of undrafted players who went on to have successful careers overseas before making their mark in the WNBA.

Brooke McCarty-Williams

As previously mentioned,

Brooke McCarty-Williams was signed by the Swedish team Lulea Basket before being signed by the Dallas Wings. Playing overseas allowed McCarty-Williams to gain experience and improve her skills before making her WNBA debut.

Crystal Dangerfield

Crystal Dangerfield played for the University of Connecticut in college and went undrafted in the 2020 WNBA draft. She played for the Turkish team Fenerbahce during the WNBA offseason before being signed by the Minnesota Lynx.

Dangerfield went on to have a stellar rookie season, winning the WNBA Rookie of the Year award.

WNBA Championships

Winning a championship is the ultimate goal for many WNBA players. Here are some players who were able to do just that.

Tameka Johnson

Tameka Johnson won a championship with the Phoenix Mercury in 2009. She was a key player in the team’s success and helped lead them to victory.

Leilani Mitchell

Leilani Mitchell won a championship with the Phoenix Mercury in 2009, the same year as

Tameka Johnson. Mitchell also won the Most Improved Player Award twice in her career.

Ariel Atkins

Ariel Atkins won a championship with the Washington Mystics in 2019. She is known for her three-point shooting and was a valuable player for the Mystics in their championship run.

Jordin Canada

Jordin Canada won a championship with the Seattle Storm in 2018. She played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins and was a key player in the Storm’s championship-winning team.

Women’s Basketball Players with Other Achievements

Playing in the WNBA is just one accomplishment that female basketball players can achieve. Here are some players who have accomplished other things in addition to their WNBA careers.

WNBA Players Turned Co

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