Brittney Griner: Grinding to Be the Best She Can On and Off the Court!

Brittney Griner is one of the most outstanding women’s professional basketball players today, which can be seen through an examination of Griner’s basketball career and several contributions she has made to the community.

Brittney Griner is one of the most famous women’s basketball players today. Griner is an Olympic Gold Medalist and plays as a Center (#42) on the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team. At an early age, Griner developed an interest in basketball and showed tremendous, innate talent. Griner uses her platform to spread awareness about numerous activism groups and charities she is involved with. Her strong work ethic and passion for giving back to the community have allowed her to become an extraordinary professional basketball player.


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Brittney Griner has played basketball since she was nine years old and continues to thrive as she advances in her career. Griner and her family moved around frequently throughout her childhood and she still received tremendous support and guidance from various coaches at the schools she attended. Griner possessed a great natural ability for the sport, so much so that she began practicing with the high school men’s basketball team in her sophomore year at Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas. Griner worked out with the high school’s football coach to improve her overall physicality, namely her leg strength, so that she could do a dunk. Griner was swiftly recognized after a YouTube video of her gunks attracted millions of views, leading to her receiving a full scholarship at Baylor University.

Brittney Griner is a legend at Baylor University, known for her incredible basketball career. She was offered a scholarship, where she also pursued a “general studies major emphasizing outdoor recreation.” Griner is known for significantly contributing to Baylor’s 40-0 national championship team in their 2011-12 season. She was also awarded the National Player of the Year, two ESPYs, AP and USBWA Player of the Year, and the Wooden Award for her tremendous season. It has been 12 years since Griner’s noteworthy season at Baylor, and this past weekend, Baylor retired her #42 jersey. During an in-game interview with ESPN, she said, “Just full of emotion…As soon as [the jersey] started to go up, I started to break”. Griner expressed immense gratitude for the experiences and opportunities she had received from Baylor. Her successful basketball career at Baylor pushed her to achieve her dream of becoming a professional basketball player.

After Griner’s exciting basketball career as a Baylor Lady Bear, she advanced to playing in the WNBA and was selected for the 2016 and 2020 Team USA Olympic teams. Griner was Phoenix Mercury’s first pick in the WNBA 2013 draft and has remained on this team ever since. During Griner’s time with Phoenix, ESPN reports that she has won two WNBA scoring titles and a WNBA championship, and she holds the all-time WNBA record for dunks made. Despite her loyalty to the Phoenix Mercury, she was also a member of the 2016 and 2020 Team USA Olympic teams, and in both games, she received a Gold Medal. Griner will again play in the 2024 Paris Olympics on Team USA.


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Brittney Griner is an influential advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and co-authored Opinion: Texas Bill Could Subject Transgender Athletes to Bullying, Assault with Los Angeles Sparks player Layshia Clarendon in 2017. Griner and Clarendon clearly state their stance, “SB3 would make it impossible for cities and school districts to proactively protect LGBTQ people in restrooms, locker rooms, and other changing facilities. As written, it would also take away existing protections that millions of LGBTQ Texans have in cities such as Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.” In this statement, the pair of WNBA players voice their opposition to the anti-transgender bill SB3 in the Texas legislature.

Brittney Griner also founded the annual initiative BG’s Heart and Sole Drive to battle the homeless epidemic in Houston. During her drives home from summer practice, she routinely saw homeless Arizonians living without shoes. Griner started by ensuring she had extra shoes in her trunk if she caught someone in need. Her small idea transformed into an empire she partnered with the local non-profit Phoenix Rescue Mission to run. This was an extremely successful venture that benefited the Phoenix community. Essence reports, “The 2022 campaign collected 3,400 pairs of new and gently used shoes—more than the first four years of the campaign combined. BG’s Heart and Sole Shoe Drive raised more than $30,000 for critical resources for Phoenix Rescue Mission.” Griner also partnered with the Bring Our Families Home campaign (BOFH) to raise awareness for Americans who are wrongfully detained in other countries. With BOFH, she announces her mission: “We’re not going to stop fighting, and we are not going to stop bringing awareness to everyone left behind right now.” Inspired by her own experience being detained in Russia in February 2022, Griner hopes that sharing the stories of wrongfully convicted Americans overseas will push others to act and call for positive change.


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The WNBA acknowledged Griner’s good work by honoring her partnership with the Phoenix Mercury Center with the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award. When Griner was informed of this tribute, she said, “I’m grateful to receive the community assist award and even happier to be able to donate the award money to causes that mean a great deal to me […]Thank you to all the fans in Phoenix and league-wide who joined me in supporting these causes by donating shoes or writing letters. My commitment will continue to be helping those who are struggling and shining a light on wrongfully detained Americans who should be home with their families.” Griner takes advantage of the platform her basketball career honors her. Griner continuously shows her exceptional character, making her a great team player and a dependable helping hand to the community.

About the Author

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Alex Hamilton

Alex Hamilton is an intern at AfterBuzz TV and is currently in her junior year at Scripps College majoring in Psychology and Law. She is interested in examining the presence of psychology and law in the media and how an interrelation between one or more of these fields may affect the intended audience.