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The Shortest WNBA Players: Now & Through League History

These women prove that only your talent, work ethic, and tenacity can determine how far you go.

Temeka Johnson and more of the shortest WNBA players ever
Credit-WNBA/Temeka Johnson/Joker Mag

Do you need to be a certain height to compete at the highest level of women’s basketball?

The answer is no! As long as you can contribute on the court, you can reach the pros.

If you need proof, it’s time to learn a little bit of WNBA history.

Here is our complete breakdown of the shortest players in the WNBA – now and throughout the league’s past. Keep in mind that while other sources may differ in their reporting of exact heights, our list is based on official data from WNBA.com.

Shannon Bobbitt – 5’2″

"The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit. Forever blessed, patient, and humble!" – Shannon Bobbitt

At 5 feet 2 inches tall, Shannon Bobbitt is tied for the title of shortest WNBA player of all time. The player she’s tied with? Tina Nicholson. But we’ll get to her later.

After honing her skills on her neighborhood courts in Harlem, Bobbitt led Murry Bergtraum High School to a 30-0 record and a state championship in her junior year. Her college career began at the JUCO level and ended with back-to-back national Division I titles with Pat Summitt’s Lady Volunteers.

She was drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks in the second round in 2008 and played four solid seasons in the WNBA.

“The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit,” she wrote on Instagram. “Forever blessed, patient, and humble!”

Tina Nicholson – 5’2″

At 5'2", Tina Nicholson is one of the shortest WNBA players ever.

Because she only played 24 games in the WNBA, Tina Nicholson is typically left off of lists like this. But at 5’2″, she is tied with the more decorated Bobbitt for the title of shortest WNBA player ever.

The Downingtown, Pennsylvania native was selected by the Cleveland Rockers in the 3rd round of the 1997 draft out of Penn State.

“This is a once-in-a-million chance,” she said at the time.

In her lone WNBA season, Nicholson totaled 48 points and 42 assists. She is now a member of the Chester County Sports Hall of Fame.

Debbie Black – 5′ 2.5″

Debbie Black won WNBA Defensive Player of the Year during her age-35 season.

At 5 feet 2.5 inches tall, Debbie Black is a half-inch shorter than Muggsy Bogues – the NBA’s shortest player of all time.

Black stayed in her home city of Philadelphia to play college ball for St. Joseph’s University, where she led the Hawks to two Philadelphia Big 5 championships.

After spending 8 seasons in Australia’s WNBL – and a short stint in the ABL – she was chosen 15th overall by the Utah Starzz in the 1999 WNBA Draft.

In her rookie season, she was teammates with 7’2″ Margo Dydek, the tallest WNBA player ever. There was nearly a two-foot height difference between them!

Known as “The Pest”, her relentless defense won her the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award at the age of 35.

Temeka Johnson – 5’3″

"I love the game of basketball, but being a better person means more and it will carry you a long way." – Temeka Johnson

After breaking LSU’s career assist record, Temeka Johnson entered the WNBA as the fifth overall pick of the Washington Mystics in 2005.

She made an instant impact on the court, winning WNBA Rookie of the Year honors. Four years later, she was shipped off to Phoenix, where she helped the Mercury win the 2009 WNBA championship.

Johnson continued her playing career overseas before joining the women’s basketball coaching staff at Western Kentucky.

“I love the game of basketball,” she said in 2012. “But being a better person means more and it will carry you a long way.”

Nicole Levesque – 5’3″

The 5’3″ Wake Forest product signed with the Charlotte Sting as an undrafted free agent and became the first WNBA player in Vermont history.

Levesque played in the league’s inaugural season before heading to Europe to finish out her professional career. She later coached at the University of Vermont.

Brandi McCain – 5’3″

After an All-American high school career, Brandi McCain helped Team USA bring home a silver medal in the 1999 World University Games.

The Cleveland Rockers selected the 5’3″ guard with the 24th overall pick in 2002 after her 2-time All-SEC performance at the University of Florida.

McCain appeared in 31 games in the WNBA before competing in South Korea, Spain, Israel, and more.

Erica White – 5’3″

Erica White pictured in her purple LSU women's basketball uniform
Credit-LSU Athletics

Erica White helped the U20 USA team take home the gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas. After a remarkable career at LSU, the Houston Comets made her the 17th pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft.

Unfortunately, the team folded a year later and White only played three more games in the league the following season.

After a short stint overseas, she got into coaching – with stops at SMU, North Florida, and Richland College.

Rui Machida – 5’4″

Rui Machida led Team Japan to three gold medals at the FIBA Asia Cup.

The 5’4″ Japanese guard went undrafted in 2015 and has since spent time in both the WNBA and the Women’s Japan Basketball League.

Brooke McCarty-Williams – 5’4″

Despite winning Big 12 Player of the Year at Texas, Brooke McCarty-Williams still went undrafted in the 2018 WNBA Draft.

She initially signed with the Sparks but ultimately failed to make the team.

“When I got cut, I kind of took it hard,” she told The Athletic. “I gave myself a couple of days – well, more like a week or two, I’m not going to lie.”

She bounced back the very next year and made the roster of the Dallas Wings, where she played 34 games in 2019.

More of the shortest WNBA players:

  • Tricia Bader Binford – 5’4″
  • Edniesha Curry – 5’4″
  • A’Quonesia Franklin – 5’4″
  • Angel Goodrich – 5’4″
  • Kristi Harrower – 5’4″
  • Heather Butler – 5’5″
  • Stacy Clinesmith – 5’5″
  • Crystal Dangerfield – 5’5″
  • Leilani Mitchell – 5’5″

If you’re on the smaller side compared to your teammates, use this list as inspiration! Bookmark it and come back to it whenever you need that extra push.

At the end of the day, your talent, work ethic, and tenacity will determine how far you go.

Here are a few related articles you might also like:

Written By

Division III baseball alum (McDaniel College) and founder of Joker Mag. Sharing underdog stories to inspire the next generation.

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