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 26)
Houston, Texas
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 205 lb (93 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
Playing career 2013–present
Career history
2013–present Phoenix Mercury
2013–2014 Zhejiang Golden Bulls
2014–present UMMC Ekaterinburg
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Brittney Yevette Griner (born October 18, 1990) is an American professional basketball center for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played college basketball at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.[1][2] She is the only NCAA basketball player 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 Rivals.com.[4] Griner was selected to the 2009 McDonald's All-American basketball team.[6] In 2012 she received the Best Female Athlete ESPY Award. Griner was recently on the USA Olympic Women's team, where she helped lead them to victory. In 2013, Griner signed an endorsement deal with Nike.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11] On December 16, 2009, Griner recorded Baylor's first triple-double[12] with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and Big 12 Conference record 11 blocked shots. In January 2010, she became only the seventh player to dunk during a women's college basketball game,[13] and only the second woman to dunk twice in a single college game, making the second and third dunks of her college career[14] in a lopsided 99–18 victory against Texas State University.

On March 3, 2010, Griner and Texas Tech player 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.[15][16]

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.[17] 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.[18] Baylor reached the Final Four, before losing to eventual-champion UConn, 70–50. Griner was named an AP Second Team All-American.[19]

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.[20]

In her junior season, Griner averaged 23.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5 blocks per game.[20] She blocked more shots than any other Division I women's team that season.[21] Griner was named AP Player of the Year [22] 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.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25] Louisville lost to Connecticut in their second 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]

WNBA[edit]

Griner dunking at the 2015 WNBA All-Star game held at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville CT

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 first overall pick. Griner would flourish in her rookie season, being named a WNBA all-star and would be a dominant defensive force in the league, averaging 3.0 blocks per game. In her debut on May 27, 2013 against Chicago Sky, Griner equaled the WNBA dunk record, recording two dunks to equal Candace Parker's career total.[26] She thus became the third WNBA player to dunk and first to do so twice in one game.[27] Despite the All-Star vote, Griner missed the 2013 WNBA All-Star Game with a right knee injury, she was replaced by Tina Thompson.[28]

In the 2014 season, Griner's stats would improve, as she averaged a career high 15.6 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game and 3.7 blocks per game. On June 29, 2014, Griner had set a WNBA record with 11 blocks in a regular season game win against the Tulsa Shock, along with 21 points and 8 rebounds.[29] On August 24, 2014, Griner became the first WNBA player to dunk in a playoff game when she helped the Mercury defeat the Los Angeles Sparks, 93-68, at Staples Center.[30] The 2014 season would be a historic season for the Mercury with the combination of Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi and Candice Dupree as the dominant Big 3 to carry the team plus the arrival of new head coach Sandy Brondello, the Mercury finished 29-5, setting the WNBA record for most wins in a regular season. They made it all the way to the WNBA finals and swept the Chicago Sky 3 games to 0, to capture the Mercury's third championship in franchise history.[31] During the series, Griner set WNBA finals records in game 1 for most blocks in a game (8) and most blocks in a quarter (5).

In the 2015 season, despite missing the first seven games due to a suspension stemming from her domestic violence case, Griner would have the most prolific defensive season in WNBA history, averaging a career high and WNBA record 4.0 blocks per game, surpassing Margo Dydek's record back in the 1998 season. Although the Mercury were playing without their all-star guard Diana Taurasi (who sat out the season to play overseas), the Mercury still made it to the playoffs. In the 2015 playoffs, Griner set a WNBA playoff record with 11 blocks (along with 18 points and 8 reobunds) in a game 1 victory against the Tulsa Shock, whom she also had 11 blocks against in a regular season game the year before.[32] The Mercury would advance to the second round where they would get swept by the Minnesota Lynx who would win the championship that year.

In the 2016 season, with the return of Diana Taurasi, the Mercury had a more successful playoff run. En route to the playoffs, Griner averaged 14.5 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game and 3.1 blocks per game as the Mercury finished 16-18. During the season, Griner had recorded the sixth triple-double in WNBA history in a win against the Atlanta Dream where she had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks.[33] With the WNBA's new playoff format in effect, the Mercury were the number 8 seed in the league as they faced the Indiana Fever in the first round. The Mercury upset the Fever in the first round elimination game, as Griner had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. In the second round elimination game, the Mercury defeated the number 3 seeded New York Liberty, Griner had 22 points 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in the win. The Mercury advanced to the semifinals (the last round before the WNBA finals) against the championship defending Minnesota Lynx in a best-of-5 series but would get swept 3-0.

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.[34] She averaged 12.8 points and 7.3 rebounds a game with the USA team in Europe.[24]

Griner was the sole player still playing in college on the 2012 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team finalists roster.[35] 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.[36]

In April 2013, the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise asked Griner to appear in tryouts for the team.[37]

In 2016, Griner played for the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team for the Summer Olympics and earned her first Olympic medal as they beat Spain 101-72 for the gold medal.

Overseas[edit]

In the 2013-14 off-season, Griner played in China for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the WCBA where she signed a 4-month contract for $600,000 which was 12 times the amount she made in her rookie season with the Mercury.[38] In the 2014-15 and 2015-16 off-seasons, Griner played in Russia for UMMC Ekaterinburg with teammate Diana Taurasi, winning back-to-back championships.[39][40] As of August 2016, Griner re-signed with UMMC Ekaterinburg for the 2016-17 off-season.[41]

Honors[edit]

Along with being selected as the number one high school player in the country by Rivals.com, Griner was featured on the cover of ESPN's Rise magazine,[42] and was selected by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association as the 2009 State Farm/WBCA High School Player of the Year.[42] Griner also won the 2013 ESPY Award for best female college athlete. She was the 2012 winner of the Honda award for basketball[43] and the overall Honda-Broderick Cup winner for all sports.[44] 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."[45] 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.[46]

In 2014, Griner was included as part of the Advocate's annual "40 under 40" list.[50]

She was also named one of ESPNW's Impact 25 in 2014.[51]

Personal life[edit]

In an interview with SI.com on April 17, 2013, Griner publicly came out as a lesbian. She also revealed in the interview that she was bullied as a child, explaining, "It's 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.[52]

Griner–Johnson domestic violence case[edit]

On August 14, 2014, Griner announced her engagement to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson.[53][54] The pair were arrested on charges of assault and disorderly conduct on April 22, 2015, after police broke up a fight between the two in their Goodyear, Arizona home. Both had sustained minor injuries.[55][56] They were married on May 9, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.[57][58] On June 4, 2015 Griner and Johnson announced that Johnson was pregnant with twins. The following day, Griner filed for an annulment of the marriage citing fraud and duress.[58] Griner has no biological connection to the twins.[58] It had been revealed that Johnson's ex-boyfriend is the biological father and that she had become pregnant through IVF treatment using her eggs and a sperm donation instead of sexual intercourse.[59][60]

On May 15, 2015, the WNBA suspended Griner and Johnson for seven games each after Griner pled guilty to disorderly conduct charges. Griner was also required to complete 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling.[61]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high League leader

WNBA regular season[edit]

WNBA Postseason[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Houston rocket: Nimitz 6–6 sophomore "Brittney Griner is taking off", SI.com, January 16, 2007.
  2. ^  Brittney Griner. "Baylor Women's Basketball Player Bio". Baylorbears.com. 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". Maxpreps.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  7. ^ http://www.essence.com/2013/04/29/brittney-griner-signs-endorsement-deal-nike
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "High School Sports Record Book". National Federation of State High School Associations. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014. 
  11. ^ "Brittney Griner Profile". Baylorbears.com. Retrieved 2015-07-28. 
  12. ^ "Brittney Griner has triple-double, misses 3 dunks". Interbasket.net. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  13. ^ "Griner Dunks Twice in WBB's 99–18 Win". Baylorbears.com. 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  14. ^ "Video: Brittney Griner dunks twice, Baylor wins by 81". Interbasket.net. Retrieved 2015-07-28. 
  15. ^ "Griner punches Barncastle after foul", ESPN.com, March 4, 2010.
  16. ^ "Baylor Freshman Suspended for Punching Opponent in the Face", AP in New York Times, March 4, 2010.
  17. ^ "Georgetown Hoyas vs. Baylor Lady Bears – Recap". ESPN. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
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  25. ^ Game's biggest upset stuns Baylor ESPN. March 31, 2013.
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  27. ^ "Slow Start, Long Season". Wnba.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
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  29. ^ http://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/13681740/phoenix-mercury-rout-tulsa-shock-brittney-griner-11-blocks
  30. ^ "Watch Brittney Griner slam down the first dunk in WNBA playoff history". USA Today. 
  31. ^ Hersh, Philip (September 12, 2014). "Diana Taurasi and Mercury sweep to WNBA title over Sky". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 13, 2014. 
  32. ^ http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/09/brittney-griner-had-a-record-setting-11-blocks-in-the-opening-game-of-the-wnba-playoffs
  33. ^ http://www.wnba.com/news/griners-triple-double-helps-mercury-beat-dream-95-87/
  34. ^ ESPN broadcast of UConn v. Baylor, originally aired December 18, 2011.
  35. ^ "Twenty-One Finalists In The Mix For Final 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team Roster". USA Basketball. February 13, 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  36. ^ "2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team Roster". USA Basketball. 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  37. ^ "Brittney Griner NBA Tryout? Baylor Star Open To Mavericks Owner's Offer". M.huffpost.com. 2013-04-06. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  38. ^ http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/dish/201404/brittney-griner-made-12-times-more-playing-china-us
  39. ^ http://www.wnba.com/wnba-players-playing-overseas/
  40. ^ http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/page/espnw-russia160505/brittney-griner-diana-taurasi-opted-play-russia-money-escape-spotlight
  41. ^ http://www.womensbasketball247.com/2016/08/2016-2017-wnba-overseas-signings/
  42. ^ a b Yolande Lezine, Another Honor For Brittney, Feb 17, 2009. Retrieved 03-02-3009.
  43. ^ "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  44. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  45. ^ "The Wade Trophy". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014. 
  46. ^ "USBWA WOMEN'S HONORS". Retrieved 18 Feb 2015. 
  47. ^ "Past WBCA HS Coaches' All-America Teams". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 1 Jul 2014. 
  48. ^ a b c "WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 1 Jul 2014. 
  49. ^ "Moore named MVP of 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, headlines All-Star Five". FIBA.com. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  50. ^ "40 Under 40: Brittney Griner Wants Our Kids to Feel Hope". Advocate.com. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  51. ^ "2014 espnW Impact 25". espnW. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  52. ^ Feinberg, Doug (April 18, 2013). "Griner, Delle Donne and Diggins dealt with bullies". SI.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  53. ^ Nichols, James (15 August 2014). "Brittney Griner Proposes To Girlfriend Glory Johnson". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  54. ^ Silver, Jake (15 August 2014). "WNBA's Brittney Griner Gets Engaged to Former Tennessee Vols Star Glory Johnson". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  55. ^ "WNBA star Brittney Griner arrested on assault and disorderly conduct". Sports Illustrated. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  56. ^ "Mercury's Brittney Griner arrested on assault allegations". Azcentral.com. 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2015-07-28. 
  57. ^ "Former Lady Vol Glory Johnson, WNBA Star Brittney Griner wed on Phoenix mountaintop". Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  58. ^ a b c azcentral sports staff (6 June 2015). "Report: Mercury's Brittney Griner files for annulment". azcentral. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  59. ^ Brittney Griner’s ex-wife is dating a man
  60. ^ WNBA’s Glory Johnson FINDS LOVE In 30 Year Old Man Who Still Lives With PARENTS After Divorcing Brittney Griner
  61. ^ Mather, Victor (15 May 2015). "Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson Suspended 7 Games in Domestic Violence Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

[[Category:Women's National Basketball Association