Brittney Griner

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Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner accepting Wade Trophy 2.jpg
Brittney Griner accepting Wade Trophy in 2012.
No. 42 – Phoenix Mercury
Position Center
League WNBA
Personal information
Born (1990-10-18) October 18, 1990 (age 24)
Houston, Texas
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 199 lb (90 kg)
Career information
High school Nimitz (Houston, Texas)
College Baylor (2009–2013)
WNBA draft 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Phoenix Mercury
Pro career 2013–present
Career history
2013–present Phoenix Mercury
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Brittney Yevette Griner (born October 18, 1990) is an American professional women's basketball center with the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played college basketball at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.[1][2] She was the first NCAA basketball player ever to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots.[3] In 2012, the three-time All-American was named the AP Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Standing 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) tall, Griner wears a men's US size 17 shoe and has an arm span of 86 in (2.2 m).[4][5]

In 2009, Griner was named the nation's #1 high school women's basketball player by[4] Griner was selected to the 2009 McDonald's All-American basketball team.[6] In 2012 she received the Best Female Athlete ESPY Award.

Early life[edit]

Griner is the daughter of Raymond and Sandra Griner. She has three older siblings.

High school career[edit]

Griner attended Nimitz High School in Houston. In addition to lettering in basketball throughout high school, she played varsity volleyball as a freshman.

During her senior year, Griner led the Cougars to the Texas 5A girls basketball state championship game, where Nimitz lost 52–43 to Mansfield Summit High School. Griner dunked 52 times in 32 games as a senior, setting a single-game record of seven dunks against Aldine High School.[7] The mayor of Houston Bill White declared May 7, 2009, Brittney Griner Day. On 11 November 2008, she recorded 25 blocks in a game against Houston Alief Hastings, the most ever recorded by a female in a high school game in the US. In her 2008–09 season, she recorded 318 blocks, a single season record.[8]

Griner was named a WBCA All-American and participated in the 2009 WBCA High School All-America Game, leading the team by scoring 20 points and collecting 9 rebounds.[9]

College career[edit]

Griner played college basketball at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. As a freshman, Griner's 223 blocked shots set the all time single-season record, establishing her as one of the greatest shot blockers in women's basketball history.[10] On December 16, 2009, Griner recorded Baylor's first triple-double[11] with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and Big 12 Conference record 11 blocked shots. She became the seventh player to dunk during a women's college basketball game,[12] and only the second woman to dunk twice in a single college game on January 2, 2010, making the second and third dunks of her college career[13] in a lopsided 99–18 victory against Texas State University.

On March 3, 2010, Griner and Texas Tech Jordan Barncastle were battling for position near the lane. As a foul was being called on Barncastle, Griner took two steps forward and threw a right handed roundhouse punch which broke Barncastle's nose. Griner was then ejected from the game. Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey then imposed another one-game suspension in addition to the one-game suspension mandated by NCAA rules.[14][15]

Baylor entered the NCAA Tournament as a 4th seed, and knocked off top-seeded Tennessee in the Sweet 16. On March 22, Griner set an NCAA tournament record with 14 blocked shots in a 49–33 win against the Georgetown Hoyas.[16] In the Elite Eight, Baylor defeated Duke 51–48, and Griner blocked 9 shots, totaling 35 for the tournament, a new NCAA Women's Tournament record. Duke's Alison Bales had held the previous record of 30 blocks in the 2006 NCAA Women's Tournament.[17] Baylor reached the Final Four, before losing to eventual-champion UConn, 70–50. Griner was named an AP Second Team All-American.[18]

As a sophomore, Griner received First Team All-American honors after averaging 23 points a game, including a career-high 40 points against Green Bay in the Sweet 16.[19]

In her junior season, Griner averaged 23.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5 blocks per game.[19] She blocked more shots than any other Division I women's team that season.[20] Griner was named AP Player of the Year [21] and The 2012 Premier Player of Women's College Basketball.

On April 3, 2012, Griner led Baylor with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots to win the Division I Women's Basketball Championship, 80–61 over Notre Dame. Griner was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. Baylor finished its undefeated season with 40 wins, the most in NCAA history.[22]

After winning the championship on 3 April 2012, Griner decided to withdraw her candidacy for a roster spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team. A month later Griner broke her wrist after jumping off her skateboard when she was going down a ramp.[23]

Her college career came to an end in the 2013 NCAA women's basketball tournament to the University of Louisville Cardinals in the sweet 16.[24] Louisville eventually went on to lose to Connecticut in their 2nd championship game appearance.

College statistics[edit]

Year GP-GS MPG PPG Season high FG% RPG Season high BPG Season high APG TPG Notable stat.
2009–10 35–35 33.5 18.4 34 50% 8.5 21 6.4 14 1.0 2.8 Set NCAA record for blocks in a season
2010–11 37–37 31.8 23.0 40 54% 7.8 15 4.6 10 1.4 2.1
2011–12 40–40 32.7 23.2 45 61% 9.5 15 5.2 9 1.6 1.7
2012–13 33–33 30.3 23.8 50 60% 9.0 15 4.8 7 2.4 1.8 736 career blocked shots is NCAA record for men and women

*2012–13 statistics as of 3/21/13

Year Baylor record NCAA tournament result AP All-American
2009–10 27–10 Final Four (lost to UConn 70–50) 2nd Team
2010–11 34–3 Elite Eight (lost to Texas A&M 58-46) 1st Team
2011–12 40–0 CHAMPION (80–61 win over Notre Dame) 1st Team
2012–13 34–2 Sweet Sixteen (lost to Louisville 82-81) 1st Team

Professional career[edit]

Phoenix Mercury[edit]

The only international players surpassing her height are the late Margo Dydek, at 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m), the late Sue Geh, at 2.05 metres (6 ft 9 in) tall, Heidi Gillingham at 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) and Allyssa DeHaan. In the 2013 WNBA Draft, the Phoenix Mercury selected Griner as the 1st overall pick. In her debut game on May 27, 2013 against Chicago Sky Brittney equaled the WNBA dunk record, recording two dunks to equal Candace Parker's career total.[25] She thus became the third WNBA player to dunk and first to do it twice in one game.[26] On September 12, 2014 Griner and the Mercury swept the Chicago Sky to capture the 2014 Title.[27]

USA Basketball[edit]

In September 2011, Griner spent two weeks playing under coach Geno Auriemma for the U.S. National Team as part of its European training tour. Griner was the only college player in the group.[28] She averaged 12.8 points and 7.3 rebounds a game with the USA team in Europe.[23]

Griner was the sole player still playing in college on the 2012 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team finalists roster.[29] Excluding Griner, the average age on the finalists roster was approximately 30 years old compared to Griner, who was 22 years old at the time of the Olympics. Griner decided in April 2012 not to participate in the 2012 Olympics due to family illness and her school schedule.[30]

In April 2013, the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise asked Griner to appear in tryouts for the team.[31]


Along with being selected as the number one high school player in the country by, Griner was featured on the cover of ESPN's Rise magazine,[32] and was selected by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association as the 2009 State Farm/WBCA High School Player of the Year.[32] Griner also won the 2013 ESPY Award for best female college athlete. She was the 2012 winner of the Honda award for basketball[33] and the overall Honda-Broderick Cup winner for all sports.[34] She was the 2012 recipient of the Wade Trophy, presented to the best female NCAA Division I basketball player who embodies the "Spirit of Margaret Wade."[35] She was the winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, in 2012, and again in 2013. The award is given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to the nation's top Division I women's player.[36]

  • 2009—WBCA High School Coaches' All-America Team[37]
  • 2011—WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year[38]
  • 2012—WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year[38]
  • 2013—WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year[38]
  • 2014—FIBA World Championship All-Star Five[39]

In 2014, Griner was included as part of the Advocate's annual "40 under 40" list.[40]

She was also named one of ESPNW's Impact 25 in 2014.[41]

Personal life[edit]

In an interview with on April 17, 2013, Griner publicly came out as lesbian. She also revealed in the interview that she was bullied as a child, explaining, "It was hard. Just being picked on for being different. Just being bigger, my sexuality, everything". She said she is very passionate about working with children in order to bring attention to the issue of bullying, particularly against LGBT people.[42] On August 14, 2014, Griner announced her engagement to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson.[43][44]


  1. ^ "Houston rocket: Nimitz 6–6 sophomore "Brittney Griner is taking off",, January 16, 2007.
  2. ^  Brittney Griner. "Baylor Women's Basketball Player Bio". Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  3. ^ Longman, Jeré (March 19, 2013). "Brittney Griner's Final Season Draws Applause and Crowds". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b Jeff Fedotin, Griner named nation's no. 1 player, Yahoo Sports. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  5. ^ "Could 6'8" Brittney Griner play in the NBA?", Yahoo! Sports, February 12, 2008.
  6. ^ "McDonald's Girls All-American Teams Announced". Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "High School Sports Record Book". National Federation of State High School Associations. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014. 
  10. ^ "Brittney Griner Profile". 
  11. ^ "Brittney Griner has triple-double, misses 3 dunks". 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  12. ^ "Griner Dunks Twice in WBB's 99–18 Win". 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  13. ^ Brittney Griner dunks twice, Baylor wins by 81 (video),
  14. ^ "Griner punches Barncastle after foul",, March 4, 2010.
  15. ^ "Baylor Freshman Suspended for Punching Opponent in the Face", AP in New York Times, March 4, 2010.
  16. ^ "Georgetown Hoyas vs. Baylor Lady Bears – Recap". ESPN. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  17. ^ "Griner sets NCAA tournament mark for blocked shots". 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  18. ^ "Brittney Griner – WNBA Draft". October 14, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Baylor University Sports Information". Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  20. ^ Hays, Graham (December 5, 2012). "Comfort Zone". espnW. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  21. ^ new services Bears' Brittany Griner is AP Player of the Year, April 1, 2012.
  22. ^ John Altavilla, Herald-Mail Baylor women top Notre Dame to complete 40–0 season, April 3, 2012.
  23. ^ a b "Griner focused on senior season with champ Baylor". 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  24. ^ Game's biggest upset stuns Baylor ESPN. March 31, 2013.
  25. ^ "WNBA - Elena Delle Donne, Chicago Sky knock off Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury - ESPN". 2013-05-28. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  26. ^ "Slow Start, Long Season". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  27. ^ Hersh, Philip (September 12, 2014). "Diana Taurasi and Mercury sweep to WNBA title over Sky". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 13, 2014. 
  28. ^ ESPN broadcast of UConn v. Baylor, originally aired December 18, 2011.
  29. ^ "Twenty-One Finalists In The Mix For Final 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team Roster". USA Basketball. February 13, 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  30. ^ "2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team Roster". USA Basketball. 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  31. ^ "Brittney Griner NBA Tryout? Baylor Star Open To Mavericks Owner's Offer". 2013-04-06. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  32. ^ a b Yolande Lezine, Another Honor For Brittney, Feb 17, 2009. Retrieved 03-02-3009.
  33. ^ "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  34. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  35. ^ "The Wade Trophy". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014. 
  36. ^ "USBWA WOMEN'S HONORS". Retrieved 18 Feb 2015. 
  37. ^ "Past WBCA HS Coaches' All-America Teams". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 1 Jul 2014. 
  38. ^ a b c "WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 1 Jul 2014. 
  39. ^ "Moore named MVP of 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, headlines All-Star Five". 05/10/2014. Retrieved 5 Oct 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  40. ^ "40 Under 40: Brittney Griner Wants Our Kids to Feel Hope". Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  41. ^ "2014 espnW Impact 25". espnW. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  42. ^ Feinberg, Doug (April 18, 2013). "Griner, Delle Donne and Diggins dealt with bullies". Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  43. ^ Nichols, James (15 August 2014). "Brittney Griner Proposes To Girlfriend Glory Johnson". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  44. ^ Silver, Jake (15 August 2014). "WNBA's Brittney Griner Gets Engaged to Former Tennessee Vols Star Glory Johnson". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 

External links[edit]