Virginia High School Basketball Coach Has World's Longest Female Legs

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterMarch 11, 2013

Photo Credit: Falls Church News Press
Photo Credit: Falls Church News Press

Contrary to what you may have thought, there is indeed a record for the longest female legs in the world, and they belong to a Virginia high school basketball coach. 

The Falls Church News-Press (via BuzzFeed) brings us the story of George Mason (VA) High School's girls' varsity team assistant coach and her world-record legs. 

Yes, Svetlana Pankratova has the gams to break records. 

Standing at 6'5", the former Virgina Commonwealth University basketball player has legs that take up four feet and four inches of her body, giving her the longest female legs in the world. 

Of course, the fame of having these legs wasn't always a blessing for Pankratova, who is used to being the tallest woman around, even when she started kindergarten in her native Volgograd, Russia. 

As we all know, kids can be cruel. When you sprout higher and faster than those around you, children are going to notice.

“It wasn’t easy because kids do tease you,” said Pankratova, an assistant coach for the George Mason High School girls basketball team. “They tease whenever something is—I wouldn’t say not normal—but when something is different. So I would get teased a lot for being tall.”

Still, the height played a crucial role in her life, as she had quite the basketball career at VCU, holding two school records that stand to this day. Pankratova has the most blocks in school history (176) as well as the most blocked shots in a season (75). 

She graduated in 1997 and went on to play internationally in countries such as Portugal, Israel and Spain before retiring in 2000.

And now, her legs hold a world record.

At some point in 2002, one of her friends noticed an odd report that some lady in Britain claimed to have the longest legs.

A call into Guinness Book of World Records, six years and a flood of emails and documentation later, Pankratova claimed her rightful title. 

The subsequent media tour gave her some exposure that later caught the eye of varsity coach LaBryan Thomas, who asked Pankratova to come down and work with his girls. 

“I’m grateful for the opportunity for me to work with them,” Pankratova said. “Because I stopped playing basketball … so it was great to get back to basketball and I really do enjoy it and it brings all the nice memories back and I just enjoy giving them what I know to help them any way I can.”

During the tour, she also met with some wonderful and interesting people, including the world's smallest man, He Pingping of China, via the Washington Post

The legs that once served to invite chiding from her peers have now made her a world-record holder, and a job doing something she loves.