2009's #1 high school basketball player, only NCAA basketball player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots, 2012 AP Player of the Year, and the 2012 Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, the first openly gay athlete to sign a deal with Nike
"Brittney Griner is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and in Russia for UMMC Ekaterinburg. She played college basketball at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She is the only NCAA basketball player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. 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 9 in (2.06 m) tall, Griner wears a men's US size 17 shoe and has an arm span of 86 in (2.2 m).
In 2009, Griner was named the nation's #1 high school women's basketball player by Rivals.com. Griner was selected to the 2009 McDonald's All-American basketball team. 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...
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 LGBTpeople. Her endorsement deal with Nike was the first time the company had signed such a deal with an openly gay athlete...
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. On December 16, 2009, Griner recorded Baylor's first triple-double 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, and only the second woman to dunk twice in a single college game, making the second and third dunks of her college career in a lopsided 99–18 victory against Texas State University...
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 rebounds) in a game 1 victory against the Tulsa Shock, whom she also had 11 blocks against in a regular season game the year before. The Mercury would advance to the second round where they would get swept by the Minnesota Lynx who would win the championship that year...
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, and was selected by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association as the 2009 State Farm/WBCA High School Player of the Year. Griner also won the 2013 ESPY Award for best female college athlete. She was the 2012 winner of the Honda Sports Award for basketball and the overall Honda-Broderick Cup winner for all sports. 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." 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.
- 2009—WBCA High School Coaches' All-America Team
- 2011—WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year
- 2012—WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year
- 2013—WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year
- 2014—FIBA World Championship All-Star Five
In 2014, Griner was included as part of the Advocate's annual "40 under 40" list.
She was also named one of ESPNW's Impact 25 in 2014...
*On August 14, 2014, Griner announced her engagement to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson. The couple 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. They were married on May 8, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. 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. Griner has no biological connection to the twins. It had been revealed that Johnson had become pregnant through IVF treatment using her eggs and a sperm donation. The divorce was finalized in June 2016. 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." (1)
*While Griner is a prolific athlete, the charges of domestic abuse brought against her by her partner cannot and should not be ignored. We've chosen to include Griner on the site in order to promote discourse on domestic violence committed by women, and because she matches every other criteria for inclusion. Our inclusion is not meant to make light of domestic abuse, but we trust our audience, and hope that this brings about complex and fruitful discussion. Disagree with us? Let us know.