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Past articles:
  • Michigan Playoff Results

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  • Leslie Gball's Player of the Year

  • Hitting the last-second shot

  • Scholarships,
    Part I

  • Scholarships,
    Part II

  • Media Coverage of Girls' Sports

  • Carleton hoopsters visit Thailand

  • National Girls and Women in Sports Day

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  • Lisa Leslie wins Flo Hyman Award

  • March Madness

  • New Trier High School

  • Hoops & Heroes Awards

  • High School Champions

  • One Nation, One Flag, One People

  • Amateurism

  • Cross Court Options

  • Coaching Boys

  • WNBA 2001 Rookies


  • Parker throws one down!
    Illinois star dunks in high school game.

    Rim-rattling dunks are a dime a dozen in men's and boys' basketball games. But in women's hoops, the feat has been rare, especially at the college level. Last season, Tennessee's Michelle Snow threw down a couple of dunks, but she was the first women to accomplish that feat since West Virginia's Georgeann Wells did it in 1984.

    Until recently, there had been no reports of a girl dunking in a high school game. But that changed last week, when Candace Parker of Naperville (Ill.) Central rocked the rim during a Christmas tournament game.

    Before the game, Parker promised her older brother Marcus, who was leaving to go back to med school at Johns Hopkins the next day, that she would dunk for him that night. "My brother has never seen me dunk," Parker told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It felt really good and was a moment I'll remember forever. After the dunk, I looked up and saw my brother and his girlfriend jumping up and down."

    The dunk came in the first quarter of Naperville Central's quarterfinal game in the Dundee-Crown Tournament, and needless to say, it made quite an impression. "I was standing in the corner with a friend,'' Dundee-Crown coach Joe Komaromy said in the Sun-Times. "When she crossed the three-point line, she put her head down for an instant, and I could tell she was gearing up to try. From there, it was three steps and wow. What an incredible sight and a great moment in girls' basketball. And she did it with such authority."

    Parker's opponents were equally wowed. "It's crazy," said Libertyville junior Kelly True in the Sun-Times. "It is unbelievable. She is a great player, really tall and with such a long arm span. It is so cool. It adds a whole different aspect to the game. Now everyone is going to want to know who's next."

    The dunk is the latest in an increasingly long line of accomplishments for the 6-3 Parker, who is widely considered the top sophomore high schooler in the country. She was a Chicago Sun-Times All-State selection after averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds as a freshman, and before this season she was named to USA Today's Preseason Top 25 list.

    Parker comes from an athletic family. Her older brother Anthony played in the NBA and now plays pro ball in Isreal, and her father played college hoops at Iowa. But Parker has them beat when it comes to making their first career dunk. "She's the earliest Parker to dunk,'' said Marcus, 23, in the Sun-Times. "I didn't do it and neither did our brother Anthony until we were juniors."

    The dunk was the talk of the Chicago area for the next few days, "I couldn't believe the buzz on the radio," said Streamwood Head Coach George Rosner in the Sun-Times. "Every time she plays, more people will come to see if she'll do it again."

    In the ensuing hubbub, reports came out that Miami high school sophomore Sylvia Fowles had dunked a few times in games last season. Still, people remain impressed with Parker's jam. "I don't think that diminishes what Candace has done at all," said Mike Flynn, the director of Philadelphia-based Blue Star. "I remember watching Cheryl Miller try to dunk at AAU when she was 14, and everyone said it was only a matter of time. The problem isn't jumping. Women can get to the rim, but only a few have hands that can palm a basketball."


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