If you know only one thing about Candace Parker, it���s this: she dunks. Over the past year, the University of Tennessee���s 6-foot-4 Parker has single-handedly eclipsed the total number of dunks in the history of women���s NCAA basketball ��� six jams to three. Impressively, Parker pulled off her first dunk at age 15. At 17, she defeated five male contestants, including the future Denver Nuggets starter J. R. Smith, in the slam dunk contest at the McDonald���s All-American High School Game. And last year, Parker became the first woman to throw down in an NCAA tournament game. She���s got some serious game.
Parker says she first picked up a basketball when she was still in diapers and grew up playing against boys, including her very good older brothers, one of whom now plays for the Toronto Raptors. She went on to a high school career, in Naperville, Ill., that is already legendary. (A two-time USA Today national player of the year, she signed her college letter of intent live on ESPN.) Now a redshirt sophomore for one of the best teams in America, Parker has her sights set high in the NCAA tournament.
Candace Parker���s skill and talent is seemingly guaranteed to carry her beyond the NCAA and into the professional ranks. ���Ever since I started playing basketball, there���s been the option to play after college,��� Parker told the New York Times. That opportunity to get paid to play has kept her and other young women like her working on their skills. Many would say that the best female players ���play like guys.��� I think now it should be said that the best female players play like Candace Parker.