Of all the strange pseudo-celebrities to come and go in the world of high school athletics, few can boast a more unique “talent” than Svetlana Pankratova. The former Russian women’s basketball player is now an assistant coach at Falls Church (Va.) George Mason High, but she’ll never be known for his skill as a hoops coach.
That’s because Pankratova has a much more distinct physical trait that dominates practically any and all conversations about her: She has the longest legs of any woman in history.
As reported by the Washington Post’s The State of NoVa blog, as well as BuzzFeed and other outlets, Pankratova married a Falls Church resident, Jack Gosnell, and took a position as an assistant coach at George Mason High, one of the state’s top girls basketball programs. The George Mason Mustangs were recently eliminated from the state playoffs in the semifinals.
If anything, being a girls basketball coach seems like a perfectly reasonable occupation for a woman who happens to be blessed with the world's longest legs, and Pankratova will be hoping to add to the Mustangs' history of success in Virginia with a strong basketball background that includes stints with the Russian national team and Virginia Commonwealth.
But enough about the team, right? Let’s talk about the legs. Officially, Pankratova’s legs stretch 4-feet-4, more than two-thirds of her 6-foot-5 frame. According to the Post, Pankratova first investigated the novelty of her leg length after a friend brought up the possibility that she might have the longest legs of all time.
That, apparently, was the easy part. From the moment of first investigation it took six years of documentation to confirm that Pankratova’s initial suspicion was correct: She does have the world’s longest female legs.
Now Pankratova uses those long limbs to help her teach teens how to play powerfully in the paint. Yet, no matter how successful she proves to be as a coach at the prep level, Pankratova will always have her Guinness record.