In full Brittney Yevette Griner (born October 18, 1990 in Houston, Texas), an American basketball player who is one of the game’s leading centres, most noted for her play with the Phoenix Mercury, which she helped win a WNBA championship with (2014).
When Griner was arrested in Russia in 2022 on a narcotics charge, she became a household name around the world.
Early Adulthood and Post-Secondary Education
Raymond and Sandra Griner, a retired sheriff and Vietnam veteran, are the parents of four children. Sandra is a stay-at-home mother and Raymond a sheriff.
In high school, Brittney Griner competed in both volleyball and basketball, but it was basketball that garnered her the most attention. A video of her dunking was viewed millions of times on YouTube during her junior year of high school.
Griner entered Baylor University on a basketball scholarship after graduating from high school in 2009, and she rapidly became noted for her defence and her offence. During her debut season, she caused a stir by punching an opposition player in the face, fracturing her nose. Griner was given a two-game suspension.
Her perfect season (40–0) at Baylor was capped in 2012 as she guided the Bears to the NCAA championship. Naismith and Wooden Awards were both given to Griner as the best college women’s player. She was also named AP Player of the Year.
The WNBA draught had been rumoured to be a possibility for Griner, but she decided to stay for the 2012–13 season. The Naismith, Wooden and AP trophies went to Griner, despite Baylor’s NCAA loss.
A total of 3,283 points earned her a spot in NCAA history as one of the most prolific scorers of all time. As a 6’9″ (2.06 m) tall basketball player, Griner also established a record for the most blocked shots (748). She graduated from Baylor University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in education.
The WNBA’s International Exposure and Career Opportunities
Griner was picked first overall in the 2013 WNBA draught by the Phoenix Mercury. She had an immediate impact on everyone around her.
First WNBA player to dunk twice in a single game: May 2013, Maya Moore As a key part of the Mercury’s WNBA championship victory over the Chicago Sky in 2014, she registered an NBA record 129 shots blocked. First of two Defensive Player of the Year accolades for Griner that season.
The Russian Prison System
Arriving at a Russian airport on February 17, 2022, Griner was held for questioning. She was accused of smuggling in vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is prohibited in Russia. A week later, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting swift retaliation from the United States and other Western countries.
Griner’s detention was widely viewed as politically motivated by many. As she stayed in prison, her situation became more widely publicised, and calls for her release grew stronger. Griner’s value as a diplomatic hostage may have increased as a result of the media attention, according to some observers.
As of July 2022, her trial had begun, and she had admitted her guilt, despite claiming that the cannabis oil had been packed by mistake. Griner’s lawyers later stated that she had a medical prescription for the medicine, in accordance with the standards of the Russian justice system.
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My personal life.
Griner came out as a lesbian in 2013 and was the first openly homosexual athlete to get a deal with Nike the following year. Throughout her career, Griner frequently spoke out on LGBTQ issues and wrote a memoir, In My Skin:
My Life on and Off the Basketball Court (2014; written with Sue Hovey), about the difficulties she had faced as a homosexual African American woman. WNBA player Glory Johnson and Griner were arrested in April 2015 on charges of assault and disorderly conduct after an argument at their residence. The WNBA punished them both for seven games after they pled guilty to disruptive behaviour.
There were twins born before their marriage ended in 2016; they were born in May of that year. Griner married instructor Cherelle Watson three years later. Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia prompted Cherelle Griner to publicly advocate for her daughter’s freedom.