At any level of basketball, there are few skills as important as rebounding. A defensive possession doesn’t end until your team either grabs a rebound or gives up points, and the extra possessions that offensive rebounding provides are often a critical factor in the outcome of a game.
“Offense sells tickets, defense wins games, rebounding wins championships.” – Pat Summitt
To determine who the best rebounders are in the WNBA, we need to look beyond the last season. With data pulled from Basketball Reference, we calculated each player’s three-year average of rebounds per game from the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons. Stepping back out to a three-year window shows us who the truly dominant rebounders are in the league.
Top 10 Rebounders in the WNBA
1. Jonquel Jones
Three Year Average: 11.22 RPG
Over the past few seasons, Jonquel Jones has emerged as the best rebounder in the WNBA. After taking home the 2021 MVP Award, she’s also entered the discussion for best overall player in the league.
Jones has the rare combination of elite size and elite athleticism. At 6’6″, and with a reported 6’11” wingspan, few players in the league can physically match up with her. The other centers of the league often find themselves overmatched from a quickness standpoint when facing Jonquel.
2. Sylvia Fowles
Three Year Average: 10.03 RPG
A living legend. Fowles just may be the greatest rebounder in the history of the WNBA. Through 14 seasons, Syl has managed to average an extremely impressive 9.8 rebounds per game. Fowles’ size and strength allow her to get premium position, and we’ve grown to expect her to regularly put up double-digit rebounds.
Check out the piece I wrote about Sylvia for Winsidr last season while she was wrapping up another DPOY campaign: Sylvia Fowles Is Making A Strong Case For DPOY.
3. Tina Charles
Three Year Average: 9.56 RPG
Despite transforming her offensive game to include a much higher three-point volume, Tina Charles remains one of the most dominant rebounders in the W. The league’s leading scorer (2021) isn’t afraid to get dirty in the paint and grab a board.
4. Brianna Turner
Three Year Average: 9.33 RPG
In her first three years in the league, Brianna Turner has clearly established herself as an elite defensive forward. Her rebounding is a huge part of that. Playing alongside Brittney Griner, who also has averaged over nine rebounds per game in this span, provides a unique challenge on both ends of the court for opposing teams.
5. Breanna Stewart
Three Year Average: 9.22 RPG
Seattle’s roster has been rich in talent, but they have lacked a veteran (true) center that can reliably pull in rebounds. Stewie, who is often also a primary ball handler, has been the Storm’s best rebounder by far in recent years. When healthy, Breanna Stewart is the best player on the planet, and she’s able to pull down double-digit rebounds in any matchup.
6. Brittney Griner
Three Year Average: 9.14 RPG
It’s hard to believe that we haven’t yet seen a 10 rebound per game season from the 6’8″ Griner in nine WNBA campaigns. Although BG has faced a fair share of criticism for a lack of consistency, last year was Griner’s best ever in rebounds per game with 9.5. If this is a trend upward, we could easily see BG atop this list in a season or two.
7. A’ja Wilson
Three Year Average: 9.12 RPG
There’s not much A’ja hasn’t been able to do since entering the draft just a few short seasons ago. The dynamic forward came off a title run at South Carolina, and immediately started putting up numbers in the WNBA. At 9.12 rebounds per game over the past three years, Wilson is firmly in the company of the league’s best rebounders.
8. Teaira McCowan
Three Year Average: 9.03 RPG
One of the brightest spots from the Indiana Fever the past few seasons has been the dominant inside play of Teaira McCowan. In her third season (2021), McCowan posted career bests in almost every major stat category. She’s a restricted free agent in 2023, and will likely garner some competitive offers from other clubs.
9. Candace Parker
Three Year Average: 8.82 RPG
Candace Parker isn’t just a veteran leader that rounds out a locker room – she’s still putting up numbers at this stage of her career, too. Her scoring output isn’t the same as in earlier seasons, but part of that is because of the stacked roster around her in Chicago. On the defense end, and particularly on the boards, Parker is still the same dominant force we’ve always known.
10. Liz Cambage
Three Year Average: 8.24 RPG
Cambage has missed a significant number of games (and full seasons) since first entering the league ten years ago. However, when on the court, there’s no denying Liz on the boards: between the 2019 and 2021 seasons, Cambage has averaged 8.24 rebounds per game. Being one of the league’s tallest and strongest post players gives her an inherent advantage over most other bigs in the league.
Related: 2022 WNBA Free Agency Tracker