Svetlana Pankratova
Back on the court: Svetlana Pankratova, who has the world’s longest legs, is now working as an assistant basketball coach
A woman famed for having the world’s longest legs has landed a job as a high school basketball coach.

Svetlana Pankratova, 41, whose limbs measure 4ft 4in, is working as an assistant coach for the girls’ team at George Mason High School in Falls Church, Virginia.

The Russian-native told the Falls Church News Press that she is ‘grateful for the opportunity’ and really enjoys her new role.

It is not a random move for the record-breaker, and she traveled the world playing for a number of basketball teams before retiring from the sport in 2000.

‘It was great to get back to basketball and I really do enjoy it,’ she added.

‘It brings all the nice memories back and I just enjoy giving [the girls] what I know to help them any way I can.

‘It also feels good because I played there and I’m there with the team who has a lot of success.’

Ms Pankratova is well-acquainted with the state of Virginia as she spent three years playing women’s basketball at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1992 to 1995.

After living in the Costa del Sol in Spain for a short time she returned to the U.S. in 2010 after reconnecting with a former love interest, Jack Gosnell, and the two married a year later.

Bryan Thomas, head coach of George Mason girls’ varsity team, found out that Ms Pankratova had moved to the area and offered her a job in the middle of the 2010-11 season.

Ms Pankratova, who grew up in Volgograd, Russia, explained that it took years for her to realize the benefits of being tall and at school she was bullied for her height.

‘It wasn’t easy because kids do tease you,’ the 6ft 5in blonde said.

‘They tease whenever something is – I wouldn’t say not normal – but when something is different. So I would get teased a lot for being tall.’

But when she was around 12 or 13 years old she got her break in basketball.

After she graduated high school, Ms Pankratova played with a college team in Russia for a year before being recruited by Virginia Commonwealth University.

During her time with the women’s team she scored two school world records for the most blocked shots in a career (176) and in a single season (75) which she still holds today.

She went onto play basketball in Portugal, Israel, and Spain, where she retired and settled in 2000.

In 2002 one of her friends saw a news story featuring a Brit who claimed to have the world’s longest legs for a woman and suggested that Ms Pankratova should put in a claim.

For six years she tried to verify that she had the longer legs and finally in 2009 she made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

The media tour took her to the UK and across the U.S.

‘I never thought about it when I was growing up. I just never paid attention to my legs,’ she added.
SOURCE: Daily Mail

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