Sunday, April 21, 2013

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight is an American women's college basketball player at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She is the first NCAA basketball player ever 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. Today's Out Spotlight is Brittney Griner.

Brittney Yevette Griner was born October 18, 1990 the 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) ball player, wears a men's US size 17 or 18 shoe and has an arm span of 86 inches.

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

During her senior year, she led the Cougars to the Texas 5A girls basketball state championship game, where Nimitz lost 52–43 to Mansfield Summit High School. She dunked 52 times in 32 games as a senior, setting a single-game record of seven dunks against Aldine High School. The mayor of Houston Bill White declared May 7, 2009, Brittney Griner Day. On November 11, 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.

In 2009, Griner was named the nation's #1 high school women's basketball player by Rivals.com and was selected to the 2009 McDonald's All-American basketball team. She 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.

As a freshman at Baylor University, 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, she recorded Baylor's first triple-double with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and Big 12 Conference record 11 blocked shots. Griner became 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 on January 2, 2010, making the second and third dunks of her college career in a lopsided 99–18 victory over against Texas State University.

On March 3, 2010, Griner was ejected from a game for punching Texas Tech player Jordan Barncastle in the face. Griner and Barncastle were battling for position near the lane. As a foul was being called on Barncastle, Griner took two steps toward her before throwing a roundhouse punch with her right hand. The punch thrown by Griner broke Barncastle's nose. Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey imposed a one-game suspension in addition to the one-game suspension mandated by NCAA rules.

Baylor entered the NCAA Tournament as a 4th seed, and knocked off top-seeded Tennessee in the Sweet 16 of the 2010 season. On March 22, Griner set an NCAA tournament record with 14 blocked shots in a 49–33 win against the Georgetown Hoyas. In the Elite Eight, Baylor defeated Duke 51–48, with Griner blocking 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. Baylor reached the Final Four, before losing to eventual-champion UConn, 70–50. Griner was named an AP Second Team All-American.

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.

In her junior season, she averaged 23.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5 blocks per game. She blocked more shots than any other Division I women's team that season. Griner was named AP Player of the Year 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. She was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. Baylor finished its undefeated season with 40 wins, the most in NCAA history.

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

In September of 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. She averaged 12.8 points and 7.3 rebounds a game with the USA team in Europe.

Griner was the sole player still playing in college on the 2012 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team finalists roster. Excluding her, 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. She decided in April 2012 not to participate in the 2012 Olympics due to family illness and her school schedule.

Along with being selected as the number one high school player in the country by Rivals.com, she 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.

Earlier this year there was talk that Mark Cuban owner of the Dallas Mavericks was interest in giving Griner a tryout for the NBA. Although she has the skills and height comparable to NBA players, she lacks in pure body mass, weigh 40lbs less that most NBA players.

In the 2013 WNBA Draft, the Phoenix Mercury selected Griner as the 1st overall pick.

Griner is trailblazing off the court as well. After being select earlier this spring in the WNBA draft, she revealed that she is gay. In an interview with Sport Illustrated (SI.com) on this past Wednesday, Griner acknowledged that she is gay.

"Brittney Griner was so nonchalant and confident when she publicly acknowledged she is gay, you would have thought she just told the world that she liked potato chips", the SI article commented.

Asked about coming out Griner said "It really wasn't too difficult. I wouldn't say I was hiding or anything like that. I've always been open about who I am and my sexuality. So it wasn't hard at all. If I can show that I'm out and I'm fine and everything's OK, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way."

The simplicity of her answer is striking, and telling. It said a lot about who she is, and it sent a clear, inspirational message to any person who might be considering coming out.

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 in the LGBT community.

9 comments:

Jersey Tom said...

One thing I know for sure is that Jake better not ever tick Reese off. That girl is a crazy ass bitch

Jersey Tom said...

Another thing I know is that Jake is noit dating Anna Kebdrick:-)

Jersey Tom said...

Watched EOW last night. It was very good as was Jake. Never heard the f and mf word so much though. Hard to believe people talk like that.

Jersey Tom said...

Do you know who I am:-)

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Special K said...

Tom

Great to hear that you liked EOW and that you Jake's performance was good too.

Special K said...

Thanks for the great news about Jake's audiobook.

the real m said...

I finished Gatsby late yesterday and will sorely miss it. Jake did a great job reading, but much as I loved it, I dont have any interest in listening to it a second time. At least not for a while. Maybe I'll listen again in 6 months. But, I highly recommend it to anyone not sure if they should read it or not. It was even better than the play, as it felt more personal with his voice right there in my ear. I used headphones so as not to disturb my husband.

6 ft 8 inches? Wow, every one looks tall to me as it is since I am short, but that is really something.