With Mark Cuban saying he would consider selecting Baylor star Brittney Griner if she was available in the NBA draft, many sports fans have wondered how the 6-foot-8 forward would fare competing against men.

Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, for one, thinks the idea of a female competing in the NBA is "ludicrous.".

Although Griner may never have the opportunity to play in the NBA, she wouldn't be the first successful female athlete to try out her game against male counterparts. Here are some of the notable women who have gone up against men.

Notable Women Who Competed Against Men Slideshow


Danica Patrick

Just 31, Patrick has broken numerous barriers in auto racing. In the qualifying for the 2013 Daytona 500, Patrick became the first female driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole. Her third place finish at the 2009 Indianapolis 500 was the highest ever by a woman.


Annika Sörenstam

Sörenstam became the first woman to play in a PGA Tour event since 1945 when she teed off at the Bank of America Colonial tournament in 2003.


Michelle Wie

Wie, who has stated that her ultimate goal is to play in the Masters, has gotten sponsors' exemptions to play in several PGA Tour events. While she has made the cut in one men's tournament (the SK Telecom Open of the Asian Tour), she has never made the cut for a PGA Tour tournament.


Jackie Mitchell

The 17-year-old Mitchell signed a contract with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts in 1931. In an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, Mitchell struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig on seven pitches.


Kelly Kulick

In 2010, Kulick became the first woman to win a PBA tour title when she took home the crown at the Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas.


Billie Jean King

King topped Bobby Riggs in the legendary 1973 "Battle of the Sexes" in the Houston Astrodome. Riggs, a former world No. 1, never stood a chance against King, who was 25 years younger, and he ended up losing in straight sets.


Katie Hnida

Hnida walked on as a kicker at Colorado and New Mexico, and she became the first woman to score points in an NCAA Division I-A game.


Babe Didrikson Zaharias

There wasn't much that Zaharias didn't do. She was an Olympic gold medalist, she played baseball, basketball and softball and is perhaps most celebrated for her golf success. Zaharias notched 41 wins on the LPGA tour and played in several PGA events. In 1948 she became the first woman to attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open.


Nancy Lieberman

Lieberman became the first woman to play in a men's professional league when she briefly suited up for the Springfield Fame of the United States Basketball League. She also became the first woman to coach a professional men's basketball team when she took the reigns for the Texas Legends of the NBADL.

previous next