The Sexiest Female Basketball Players of All Time

Ryan BraunAnalyst IMay 25, 2011

The Sexiest Female Basketball Players of All Time

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    With the 2011 WNBA season kicking off on June 3rd, what better time to knock out an homage to the lovely ladies of hoop?

    For 11 years running, I’ve had a crush on Sanaa Lathan that almost assuredly stems from a viewing of the movie Love and Basketball

    Now, about two hundred ask outs and one cease and desist letter later, I’m looking for backup options. (You broke my heart Lathan.)

    These are the sexiest female basketball players of all time. Or at least the ones I consider myself most likely to marry to get back at no one in particular if given the opportunity.

26. Cheryl Miller, F, USC

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    Yes! I’m going there! So sue me. 

    Talent is sexy and I have a thing for Cheryl Miller. She’s the best female basketball player in the history of the game, and there’s just something about her.

    There’s something about Cheryl.

    Is it that she likes women and is therefore some kind of forbidden fruit to the heterosexual male?

    I don’t think so. I probably have as good a shot with Cheryl as I do with any woman on this list.

    I think I’m just intrigued by a woman who could beat me so badly in basketball that it might qualify as sadomasochism. Which I’m sure is what Cheryl sought to inspire when she started her career.

25. Skylar Diggins, G, Notre Dame

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    Okay, so...moving on, you have to be cute, and, at least a little bit, you have to be able to play.

    Skylar Diggins is cute, and she just recently finished a sophomore season that saw her put up 14.4 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.9 steals a game while leading Notre Dame to the second championship game in their school’s history. 

    She’d be higher on this list if she’d return even one of my phone calls.

24. Ortal Oren, G, UCLA

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    I went back to the rolodex for some of these names. 

    Ortal Oren played for the Bruins from 2002-2006, before moving to Israel to play professionally.

    She’s cute, and my dad always hoped that I’d marry a Jewish girl.

    Thus, there’s a lot to like in Oren.


23. Leilani Mitchell, G, New York Liberty

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    Leilani is a 25-year-old guard for the New York Liberty who won the WNBA’s Most Improved Player Award in 2010. 

    She’s uber-cute, and seems like the type of player who’s worked pretty hard for everything that she has. Which is kind of like Sanaa Lathan’s character in Love and Basketball.

    Just saying…

22. Penny Taylor, F, Phoenix Mercury

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    She’s 6’1”, she’s Austrailian, and she plays for both the Phoenix Mercury and the Turkish team Denerbahce Istanbul. (Side note: It’s astonishing how many of these WNBA players are playing overseas as well. How little money are they making? Or do they just love the game that much more than their NBA counterparts?) 

    Taylor led the Australian Women’s team to a gold medal in the 2006 World Championships, winning the tournament MVP over more lauded teammate Lauren Jackson, who we will be meeting shortly.

21. Ilona Korstine, Russia

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    I confess to knowing very little about Korstine (I chose her because she has the name of a Bond girl), so I turned to the internet for information.

    The most prominent source of information on Ilona Korstine?

    I have no idea what this means.

20. Brooke Smith, Phoenix Mercury

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    Smith is a 6’3” center for the Phoenix Mercury, and a 2007 graduate of Stanford. 

    So she’s smart, she’s cure, and she’s…well, she’s big. 

    I’m comfortable enough in my masculinity that I can handle that.

    Plus, I just bought a pair of sketchers shape ups and they add like half an inch.

19. Ashley Underwood, G, Maine

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    Ashley Underwood was an all-conference performer at the University of Maine, and upon graduating in 2007, moved on to play basketball professionally in Switzerland and pretty well if these stats are correct (24.4 ppg, 6 apg, 3spg). 

    After winning the title “Miss Maine,” she competed in the Miss USA pageant in 2009, and appeared on Survivor: Redemption Island in early 2011.

    I’m not a big Survivor watcher, but she was the final juror, which I believe means she almost won.

18. Taylor Lilley, G, Phoenix Mercury

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    Is the WNBA really small, or does the Phoenix Mercury have an disproportionately high number of the world’s hottest players? 

    (As I wrote that sentence, I realized the sad truth—the WNBA is really small, isn’t it?)

    Taylor Lilley is obviously a looker (she kind of reminds me of Kit from A League of Their Own), and she holds the single season record for three-point shooting percentage at Oregon.

    At 5’6”, she’s one of the shortest entries on our list.

17. Diana Taurasi, F, Phoenix Mercury

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    One of the best players in the history of college basketball, Taurasi is both a WNBA MVP and champion. 

    In spite of that, perhaps her most highly regarded work came via participation in the much publicized "ESPN: Body Issue," an except of which is pictured to the left.

16. Andrea Phillips, G, Kentucky

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    I’m confused, and because of that I’m keeping her.

    I found the name “Andrea Phillips” on some far end of the Internet, on the netherreaches of some message board.

    And I can find one picture of her on the internet, and limited accessory information at all.

    Is she new? Is she a freshman?

    Furthermore, is she this girl? I’m pretty sure she’s not…but I did find it interesting that that Andrea Phillips is cute too.

    There’s something in this name.

15. Elina Babkina, PG, Fenerbahce Istanbul

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    A Latvian girl who has been playing professionally since she was 2004 (she’s only 22) when she was signed by Russian Superleague team UMMC Ekaterinburg. 

    She’s super-cute, and apparently, super-good.

    She was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2011 WNBA Draft.

14. Brittany Jackson, G, Atlanta Dream

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    Jackson is a three-point shooting specialist who reached the NCAA Final Four four consecutive years with Tennessee.

    She’s gone on to have a successful WNBA career, while working as a model on the side.

13. Lauren Jackson, C, Seattle Storm

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    There’s something about a girl that could crush you beneath her foot, and at 6’5”, Lauren Jackson could give it a shot. 

    Also, she’s beautiful, and she’s really, really good at basketball (See: her three WNBA Most Valuable Player trophies.)

12. Jaime Printy, G, Iowa

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    Potentially a little high for a sophomore from Iowa, but only because it’s so early in her career. 

    She’s off to a good start.

    Jaime Printy was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year last year, during which she broke the Hawkeye freshman records for scoring, three-pointers made and assists.

    She’s 5’11”, and unbelievably cute.

11. Swin Cash, F, Seattle Storm

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    Well, she’s married, but I think we have to show some appreciation anyway for one of the better WNBA players in the history of the league, as well as one of the better names in the history of sports.

    Her full name, Swintayla, means “astounding woman.”

    Sounds about right.

10. Ayla Brown, G, Boston College

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    Okay, now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty. 

    I seriously hope I meet this girl. Not only is she a really, really good looking basketball player, but she’s a senator’s daughter. My hope is that the government knows I’m writing this, and plans accordingly.

    (Note to government: accordingly = setting up a meet and greet, not killing me.)

    (Note to self: first line when you meet her = "I collect sea shells.")

9. Ye Li, C, China

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    She’s beautiful, she’s classy, and she can ball, I hear.

    Oh, and by the way, this is Yao Ming’s wife.

    Well, it’s hard not to be happy for Yao.

    Ye Li is 6’3”. There’s a 99.9% chance their kids will be centers.

8. Becky Hammon, G, San Antonio Stars

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    Hammon’s had an 11 year professional career now, and is one of the most recognized faces in the WNBA.

    I posted her with a picture of her dog, hoping to offset her cuteness and thus allow you to look her in the eyes.

7. Meghan Gardler, F, Connecticut Huskies

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    Again, seriously cute. 

    Gardler is a feisty defender who played for Geno Auriemma’s most recent champion UConn team, and now plays professionally in Europe.

    Writing this list is making me realize that I need to get out more.

6. Yoyo Greenfield, G, Yale

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    Okay, peel me off the ground. 

    Yoyo goes to Yale (smart!), and she’s obviously good looking.

    Full disclosure—Yoyo and I have been off and on for several years now. The game takes her away from me during the school year, but the best thing about Yoyo is she always comes back.

5. Tamara Abalde Diaz, G, Lamar Cardinals

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    Tamara Abalde has played for the Spanish U-19 National team, and averaged 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds at the most recent World Championships. 

    Since she’s arrived on campus, Lamar University has seen a marked increase in male Spanish majors.

    Tamara: Tu es bonita.

4. Candace Parker, C, Los Angeles Sparks

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    One of the most well-known female basketball players of all-time—and perhaps the most capable dunker to ever play in the WNBA—Candace Parker is the total package.

    She’s won just about every award there is to win in both professional and collegiate women’s basketball, and she married Shelden Williams. (No comment save for good for Shelden.) 

    She lists her favorite movie as Love and Basketball, which shows she has good taste.

3. Kathleen Nash, G, Texas

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    Kathleen Nash is 6’2, and just this year became the first player in UT history to record 1,000 points, 700 rebounds and 200 three-pointers in a career.

    She’s also from Texas, so I’m assuming a drawl. 

    That’s a positive.

2. Claudia Cecilia Lampe Porras, F, Bolivia

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    Quite possibly the most traditionally good-looking girl on this list, I knew literally nothing else about Ms. Porras before giving her the old Wikipedia treatment. (Unfortunately, not a euphemism.) 

    Claudia played college ball at the University of Texas El Paso, and represented Bolivia in the South America Championships. She played pro ball in Denmark after that, but eventually gave it up to return to modeling in Bolivia.

    And so ended the career of a girl who probably didn’t need to be playing basketball in the first place.

1. Sue Bird, PG, Seattle Storm

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    Okay, I kind of have a thing for Sue Bird. I’ve kept this very professional until now, but it’s 2:00 in the morning, I’m lying next to my dog, and I’m thinking it’s about time my agent set up some sort of meet and greet. (Editor’s note: Ryan does not have an agent.) 

    So what do we know about Sue Bird? She’s 5’9”, 150 pounds, and turned 30 last October. She was the first pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft and a four-time All-WNBA performer, which means that unlike a lot of the girls on this list, she can actually ball.

    Most promising of all? A quick scan of Wikipedia reveals nothing along the lines of a marriage.

    Let’s end on a positive note.

    I’m still in the game.


    Thanks to