|Born||23 February 1979|
Shpakovskoye, Stavropol Krai, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||187 lb (85 kg)|
|WNBA draft||1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8th overall|
|Selected by the Phoenix Mercury|
|1998–2001, 2005||Phoenix Mercury|
|Career highlights and awards|
Maria Alexandrovna Stepanova (Russian: Мари́я Алекса́ндровна Степа́нова; born 23 February 1979) is a Russian professional and Olympic basketball player. In the United States, she played for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
At a height of 203 cm, she has been the third-tallest player in the league (along with Liz Cambage, Brittney Griner, Zheng Haixia, and Lindsay Taylor). The other players such as Margo Dydek, at 7 ft 2 in (218 cm), and Han Xu, at 6 ft 9 in (206 cm), are taller than her. Heidi Gillingham, at 6 ft 10 in (208 cm), and Allyssa DeHaan, also at 6 ft 9 in, never played in the WNBA. She wears size 15 (US) / 48 (EU) shoes. Though in the Russian national team, she has been overtaken by Ekaterina Lisina in being the tallest member.
Stepanova was born in the village of Shpakovskoye (now the town of Mikhaylovsk, in Stavropol Krai of the former Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union, and grew up in Tosno, Leningrad Oblast.
Honours and awards
- Honoured Master of Sports of Russia
- Medal of the Order For Merit to the Fatherland, 1st class (August 2, 2009) - for outstanding contribution to the development of physical culture and sports, high achievements in sports at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing in 2008
- 3× FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year (2005, 2006, 2008)
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