Italy: Dunking Donnette

11.03.2005

Dunking the basketball is not just the domain of men, as Donnette Snow reminded Italian basketball this week when she jammed one home in Lavezzini Parma's 75-65 win over CaraChieti.

Snow scored 22 points, but the biggest two came a couple of minutes before half-time when she soared 3.05m off the floor and dunked on a fastbreak.

The slam, more than any other play this season, it seems, has captured the imagination of the women's hoops fans in the country.

The 1.96m Snow's dunking ability has landed the soon-to-be 25-year-old, a former player at NCAA powerhouse Tennessee and a pro with the Houston Comets, on the front page of Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It's fantastic to dunk because you hear the fans having fun and there is nothing better than to put on a show for the fans," Snow said.

"I know that by dunking, I get the attention of those people who have never been interested in women as basketball players."

Snow is not different from many of the men around the basketball world who can, in basketball parlance, "throw it down".

"I started to dunk first with a tennis ball," she said, "then with a balled up T-shirt, and then with a ball.

"The first time I did it was at the age of 16."

She is also not the first woman to dunk in Europe this year.

Russian international Maria Stepanova dunked in a club game in November for VBM-SGAU in their 118-40 mauling of Vologda-Chevakata Vologda.

It was the first time that that had ever happened in a Russian women's game.

As for Snow, who averaged 15.5 points and 13.6 rebounds a game in the FIBA EuroLeague Women for Parma this season, she isn't going to be remembered exclusively for her basketball playing dunking ability.

Recalling her childhood, she said: "I wanted to learn how to play the saxophone, but seeing as I didn't have as much money to buy it, I joined the school band and they gave me a trombone.

"I still play it, but soon I will be able to buy a saxophone."


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