Before the mid-April WNBA Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago, league officials had thought for some reason that Malgorzata Dydek's height was 6-foot-6.
She personally thought she was about 7-0.After turning startled heads at the 90-player camp, her first trip to the United States, she was measured at 7-2. With her impressive basketball skills added to that "sudden" height, she became an immediate candidate for the No. 1 pick in the April 29 draft, held one day after her 24th birthday.
Because the league was surprised to find Dydek so tall and so talented so late, WNBA president Val Ackerman told the Deseret News that there are no plans to feature Dydek, one of the world's tallest women, in the first few '98 WNBA advertising campaigns.
"At this point, there aren't (any commercials with Dydek) because our marketing work is laid in advance. She didn't really become known to us until April, and we didn't know until a month ago that she was going to be in our league," Ackerman said, noting many promotional scenes were pre-pro-duced.
"We have every expectation to highlight her as much as we can in our telecasts and promotional material that we are going to be developing," she said.
Dydek's California-based agent, Trisonia Abraham, says Dydek is picking up a few endorsement offers, both from Utah firms and nationally, but not nearly as many as she would if she'd been a graduating American collegian drafted No. 1 overall. "They haven't come in like I thought," Abraham says.
"The best thing," Abraham says, "is she doesn't really care. She has no idea (of her impending stardom). `Why do they want me?' " she asks Abraham.
At that fateful Chicago camp, Dydek led all players with 14 blocked shots and 27 rebounds in five games.