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Małgorzata Dydek (28 April 1974 – 27 May 2011), known as Margo Dydek in the United States, was a Polish professional basketball player. Standing 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) tall, she was famous for being the tallest professional female basketball player in the world. She played center position for the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA and was a coach for the Northside Wizards in the Queensland Basketball League. She was awarded the Polish Gold Cross of Merit (1999).
Dydek in September 2008
|Born||28 April 1974|
|Died||27 May 2011 (aged 37)|
|Listed height||7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)|
|Listed weight||223 lb (101 kg)|
|WNBA draft||1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Utah Starzz|
|2003–2004||San Antonio Silver Stars|
|2008||Los Angeles Sparks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at WNBA.com|
Margo Dydek was born 28 April 1974 in Warsaw, Poland to a 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) father and a 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) mother. She had two sisters, her elder sister, Katarzyna (Kaska) (6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)) used to play for the Colorado Xplosion of the now defunct ABL, and in Poland. Her younger sister (12 years younger), Marta, (6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)) graduated from the University of Texas-El Paso where she played basketball, and played in Spain professionally in the 2000s.
Dydek made her first trip to the United States in May 1998 for WNBA pre-draft camp. Dydek was drafted 1st overall in the 1998 WNBA Draft by the Utah Starzz (the franchise was subsequently transferred to San Antonio).
On 16 April 2005, during the 2005 WNBA Draft, the San Antonio Silver Stars traded Dydek to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for the Sun's first-round draft pick, Katie Feenstra from Liberty University.
- All-time leader in blocks, in 323 games
- Leader in blocks nine times (1998–2003, 2005–07)
- Leader in blocks/game 8 times (1998–2003, 2006–07)
- Most defensive rebounds (214) in 2001
On 3 June 2008, Dydek signed with the Los Angeles Sparks, following time away from basketball due to her pregnancy (she gave birth to her son, David, in April).
Dydek played for Olimpia Poznań from 1992 to 1994, before playing for Valenciennes Orchies in France from 1994 to 1996, where she met her future husband, David. She then moved to Spain and played for Pool Getafe from 1996 to 1998, and moved back to Poland to play for Fota Porta Gdynia starting with the 1998–99 season. She continued to play with the club through several sponsorship changes; since then, the club has taken the names Polpharma and Lotos.
In 1999–2000 she averaged 18.5 points and 10.7 rebounds for Gdynia in FIBA Euroleague play. She was named Most Valuable Player of the Polish League Finals of the 1999–2000 season. In 1999, she was also named the best female basketball player in Europe by the Italian sports magazine La Gazzetta dello Sport. Dydek was chosen as Poland's Sports Woman of the Year and was a member of the Poland women's national basketball team until 2007, winning the EuroBasket Women 1999. She helped lead Gdynia to runner-up finishes in the FIBA Euroleague in 2002 and 2004.
On 19 May 2011, Dydek, at the time pregnant with her third child, suffered a severe heart attack and was placed in a medically induced coma at a Brisbane hospital. She had been working as a coach for the Northside Wizards in the Queensland Basketball League. Dydek collapsed at her home in Brisbane and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. She never regained consciousness and died eight days later on 27 May 2011. As Dydek was early in her pregnancy, the baby also died.
- Margalit Fox (27 May 2011). "Margo Dydek, Towering Women's Basketball Center, Dies at 37". The New York Times.
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- FIBA Europe Mourn Loss Of Dydek
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- Margo Dydek, 7-Foot-2 Ex-WNBA Player, Dies At 37