Margo Dydek

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Margo Dydek
Margo Dydek 2.jpg
Dydek in September 2008
Personal information
Born(1974-04-28)28 April 1974
Warsaw, Poland
Died27 May 2011(2011-05-27) (aged 37)
Brisbane, Australia
Listed height7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)
Listed weight283 lb (128 kg)
Career information
WNBA draft1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Utah Starzz
Playing career1998–2008
Career history
19982004Utah Starzz/San Antonio Silver Stars
20052007Connecticut Sun
2008Los Angeles Sparks
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
FIBA Hall of Fame as player
Women's Basketball
Representing Poland Poland
EuroBasket Women
Gold medal – first place 1999 Poland

Małgorzata Dydek (28 April 1974 – 27 May 2011),[1] 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.[2] She played center position for multiple teams in the WNBA and was a coach for the Northside Wizards in the Queensland Basketball League.[3] She was awarded the Polish Gold Cross of Merit (1999).[4]

She was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2019.

Early life[edit]

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.[5] 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. Her younger sister (12 years younger),[6] 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.[7]

WNBA career[edit]

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.

Records held:

  • All-time leader in blocks (877), in 323 games
  • Leader in season total blocks nine times (19982003, 200507)
  • Leader in season blocks per game eight times (19982003, 2006, 2007)
  • 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 that year.

European career[edit]

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.[8]

Personal life[edit]

With husband David Twigg, Dydek had two sons, David (born 2008) and Alex (born 2010).[9][10]


On 19 May 2011, Dydek, at the time pregnant with her third child, suffered a cardiac arrest[11] 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.[12]


  1. ^ Margalit Fox (27 May 2011). "Margo Dydek, Towering Women's Basketball Center, Dies at 37". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Tallest WNBA player (ever)". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  3. ^ " 2008 WNBA Transactions". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  4. ^ Kancelaria Sejmu RP. "Internetowy System Aktów Prawnych". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Most Popular". CNN. 19 August 2002.
  6. ^ "Rodzina zmarłej Małgorzaty Dydek - koszykarka OSIEROCIŁA dwóch synów, była w ciąży". 27 May 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Marta Dydek". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  8. ^ FIBA Europe Mourn Loss Of Dydek
  9. ^ "The Day - Margo Dydek: A personality to match her 7-foot-2 height - News from southeastern Connecticut". The Day. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Storm mourns loss of former WNBA player Margo Dydek". The Seattle Times. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Margo Dydek suffers heart attack". ESPN.

External links[edit]