Over the years, there have been many famous women basketball players. Each has contributed something unique and important to one of the greatest sports of all time.
In 1892, one year after basketball's creation, Senda Berenson adapted the rules for women and introduced the game at Smith College. While the game was slightly different, basketball equipment and basic team structure remained the same. She later wrote and published the first guide on women's basketball. Berenson is commemorated in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and is universally known as "the mother of women's basketball."
Babe Didrikson is thought to be the first basketball star. She was also exceedingly skilled at golf and track and field. She led her team to victory in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Championship in 1931, before professional leagues were created.
Lusia Harris played on the silver medal-winning first U.S. women's Olympic basketball team. She scored the first two points of the first game, marking the first points by a female Olympic basketball player. When the New Orleans Jazz drafted her in 1977, she became the first woman to be drafted by an NBA team.
In 1985, Lynette Woodard became the first woman to be recruited for the famed Harlem Globetrotters traveling theater/sports team. She was signed by many other international teams after this and played in several locations, including Italy and Japan.
Lisa Leslie and Rebecca Lobo are two of the most famous modern-day players, though both no longer play. Leslie is the first woman to perform a slam dunk in a women's game. She has been the league's Most Valuable Player three times and was on a gold medal-winning Olympic team four times. In addition, Leslie is a fashion model and actress, who has had guest spots on several television shows. She retired in early 2009.
Lobo was considered to be Leslie's main rival. She led the Connecticut Huskies to a perfect 35-0 win during the National Championships and was recruited two years later for the New York Liberty WNBA team. She retired after suffering an injury in 2003. Today, Lobo is a women's basketball reporter and analyst for ESPN, as well as a spokeswoman for breast cancer because her mother is a survivor.
NBA basketball history is relatively short, which is fitting considering that it is played in shorts.