By DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) _ Former WNBA player Margo Dydek has
died after suffering a heart attack a week ago and being placed in
a medically induced coma. She was 37.
Cathy Roberts, the operations manager for the Northside Wizards
in the Queensland Basketball League, where Dydek was head coach,
told The Associated Press that Dydek died early Friday.
The Poland-born Dydek, who was pregnant with her third child,
suffered the heart attack on May 19 and collapsed at her home in
Brisbane. Roberts said that Dydek was at an early stage in her
pregnancy and that her unborn child had also died.
Dydek was the No. 1 pick in the 1998 WNBA draft by the Utah
Starzz. She also played for San Antonio, Connecticut and Los
The 7-foot-2 Dydek was once said to be the tallest active
professional female basketball player in the world.
She held the record for most blocks in a WNBA career, with 877
in 323 games, and led the league in blocks nine times, from 1998 to
2003 and again from 2005-07.
On August 27, 2008, Dydek signed with the Los Angeles Sparks
following time away from basketball due to the birth of her first
son in April 2008.
An entry on Dydek’s Facebook page says she was born on April 28,
1974, in Warsaw, Poland, to a 6-foot-7 father and a 6-3 mother. She
had two sisters, and her elder sister Kashka used to play for the
Colorado Explosion of the now defunct ABL, and in Poland.
Tina Thompson, a former teammate of Dydek’s on the Sparks, said
on the WNBA’s Twitter feed: “My condolences to the family of Margo
Dydek, may she rest in peace!”
The Brisbane-based Wizards posted a statement on their website
“Always in our hearts – Margo,” it said. “With great sadness
we acknowledge the passing of … Margo Dydek. Margo suffered a
heart attack just over a week ago and passed away Friday 27th May,
peacefully and surrounded by her family.
“You were a much-loved member of our community and we will miss
you greatly. Our hearts go out to your family, David and your
beautiful boys xx.”
She is survived by her husband, David, and two sons, David, 3,
and Alex, seven months.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)