Who is the 16-year-old dunking sensation Dominique Malonga?
MIES (Switzerland) - If you follow women's basketball, you probably know who Dominique Malonga is by now. For those who don't know her, maybe you just saw the video that's been going viral on all platforms.
Maybe that's not enough though. Maybe you want to know more about this 16-year-old phenom.
"She is the female version of Victor Wembanyama", said Tony Parker in 2021 when he signed the prospect for his club ASVEL.
That sounds like a lot of pressure but Malonga, who will turn seventeen next month in November, and her journey has been nothing but spectacular. And she's is a lot more than just a dunking phenomenon for social media posts.
At the FIBA U17 Women's World Cup 2022 this summer, Malonga led France to a bronze medal and made her presence felt every time she stepped on the court. She had the best efficiency rating of the competition (22.4), was the second scorer (18.0 points per game), 4th in rebounds (10.0 per game), and shined the brightest when it mattered the most with 21 points and 14 rebounds in the Semi-Final and 28 points and 17 rebounds for bronze.
Still not sure what to think about Malonga? Here's what FIBA Youth specialist David Hein had to say about her in June after the 2022 Basketball Without Borders European camp:
"Malonga is one of the future stars of the game in Europe. She has great size at 6-foot-6 and can dunk with some ease. The center helped France win their FIBA U16 Women's European Challenger last summer, averaging 19.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.8 blocks to get France to the FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup 2022. Malonga is expected to be a major leader on the team given that she actually was in the rotation for Lyon ASVEL and played in seven EuroCup Women games, picking up 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds.
Malonga has great length and athleticism but can also handle the ball and runs very smoothly - also getting out on the break. She has some excellent footwork which makes her very tough to defend around the basket. Malonga is a decent free throw shooter but has not yet looked at all to taking her game outside. She is dangerous enough around the basket and in transition. But fans should mark the name down because she will be a superstar in the very near future."