Who is Brittney Griner?

Brittney Griner was born on October 18, 1990, in Houston, Texas as the youngest of four siblings.

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She is the star center for the WNBA team Phoenix Mercury, but she told Elle in 2013, that growing up with the build of a basketball player, she was teased in school for her larger hands and feet and the memory of the seventh grade, in particular, stuck out.

Griner told Elle other girls would comment on her physique and say, “What are you?”

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It was after these episodes that Griner said she would go home and cry in her room, “Just thinking, like, Why am I even here? Why am I even alive?” she said.

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Griner now believes basketball saved her life and gave her renewed purpose.

She embraced who she was and in high school came out to her parents. Although her mom was supportive, she said, her dad didn’t get on board and told her, “I ain’t raising no lesbian.”

“My dad always told me to just be who I was, but I don’t think he knew exactly how I took it,” she said, adding, “He finally got on board that either you accept your daughter and take her for what she is and you unconditionally love her, or you’re not going to have her.”

When Griner was drafted by the WNBA in 2013 she was given a platform to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

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She volunteered at the Phoenix LGBTQ youth center and when it burned down in 2017 of suspected arson, Griner donated the $5,000 she won for the WNBA’s Cares Community Assist Award to the youth center that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth ages 14 to 24.

Over the course of her career, Griner won numerous awards and accolades including the WNBA Championship in 2014 and being the WNBA Scoring Champion in 2017, and 2019.

Additionally, she went on to win a gold medal with Team USA at the 2016 Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and earned her second gold medal with Team USA at the 2020 Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan.

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She is currently the only NCAA basketball player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots.