Candace Parker double dunks, makes basketball history

Sunday, March 26, 2006

On March 19, 2006, Candace Parker, the 6 foot, 4 inches (1.93 meters) tall Tennessee Lady Volunteers forward, made NCAA Basketball history and set a record as the first woman ever to double dunk in an NCAA game. The media buzz is that Parker has taken women's basketball up to a new level... the air.

During a Women's NCAA Championship game against the Army Black Knights, Parker made her first dunk of the game with 13:44 left in the first half. The Lady Vols were ahead, 14-13, as Sidney Spencer fed the ball to Parker, who flew over opponents to the net, becoming the first woman to slam dunk in an NCAA game. The crowd roared... not once, but twice. With 14:18 left in the second half, Parker took Nicky Anosike's pass and soared above Army and Lady Vol players. Parker palmed the ball and stuffed it through the rim for her second slam dunk in the game. Even the famously focused Coach Pat Summit took a moment to appreciate the feat.

During an NPR interview, sports analyst, Nancy Lieberman, spoke about what Parker's dunking foreshadows for women's basketball. Both Lieberman and Summit noted that Parker frequently dunks the ball during practice, as other women do. Lieberman says that women's basketball has developed immensely in recent years. And she expects audiences will see women NCAA and professional basketball players use dunking and other spectacular skills much more in the future.

Most people are celebrating Parker's double dunk as a success. In both women's and men's basketball, a few have questioned whether dunking makes the game better. But, adding a dunk shot will certainly change the game, as will the continued development of point guards. Basketball analysts usually agree that dunking is exciting and most say that using this high-percentage shot will draw bigger audiences to women's hoops.