Basketball Phenom Brittney Griner… WNBA or NBA?

Brittney Griner (Robert Rogers:Baylor Marketing & Communications)
NewsSportsWomen's Rights 5 Comments

Women are still celebrating a lot of firsts when it comes to sports, but trailblazers like Lauren Silberman, who became he first woman to try out for the NFL last month, are willing to challenge the gender rules when it comes to competition. That’s exactly what Baylor University basketball sensation Brittney Griner is hoping to do in the NBA, if given the chance. Last week, NBA’s Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, said he might consider drafting Brittney, which would be a first in the sport’s history.

Brittney_Griner_accepting_Wade_Trophy_2012Brittney is the first NCAA basketball player ever to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. The three-time All-American was just named the AP Player of the Year for the second year in a row, and in 2012 also had the title of the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Just finishing up her senior year, Brittney is expected to be a first overall pick in the upcoming WNBA draft.

“You never know until you give someone a chance,” Cuban said in an interview with ESPN. “If we had tryouts, I would have no problem inviting her to work out and see how she did. No problem whatsoever. We evaluate every draft eligible player on the planet, and we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t consider everyone.”

There are no explicit rules against an NBA team signing a woman and the idea that one NBA team is actually considering the possibility of bending the league’s gender barrier kind of rocks.

The idea of pitting female athletes against males always seems to strike a nerve, and this sure is causing a stir, but Brittney says bring it on! “When are tryouts? The WNBA is where I’m at. That is where I’m going. After that, if I get a shot, why turn down something like that? That’s big, even if you don’t make it. Hey, at least you tried. Somebody pushed the envelope.”

Standing tall at 6’8″ and 200lbs, Brittney has a wingspan that is wider than most people are tall, she dunks, and blocks anything that comes her way, but can she hold her own against powerhouse players like Dwight Howard or LeBron James? This ESPN Sport Science video  breaks it down… you be the judge.

Lead photo by Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications
  • NBA Fan

    If the question is — can she play in the NBA? The answer is no. If she does, it’s for publicity.

    There are hundreds of men playing in the NBA’s Development League (NDL) that are better than Brittney. Many have actual NBA experience but they may never get back into “The Show.” She is also competing against thousands of foreign basketball players that can be potentially drafted into the NBA.

    She is great, but she doesn’t compared to the top-notch athletes in the NBA.

  • Carol

    I say yes! She may not be able to hold her own, but you never know how
    good you are until you are able to compete against the best, man or
    woman. Good luck Brittney, I will be watching.

  • Nora

    I think it is fantastic that Brittney may get the opportunity to try out for the pros, but playing ball at a university and playing ball on the pro court are two totally different things. I believe the men will resent her and will make things very difficult for her. Do not be disappointed if it does not happen, Brittney. You are a star in your own right. Good luck.

  • gargouille

    Well, the idea of having her try out in and of itself is the point here, I think. If there are no rules in the NBA about gender (which is incredible news to me!), then why not, as a matter of good form, just let great athletes try?

  • stragithshooter

    NO, look at where her blocks take place. No where near the rim, now look at NBA blocks, you will see the difference. Look at her lack of vertical leap, and her lack of foot speed, quickness, outside shot, muscle, and post moves. That is not even mentioning the fact that she is not strong enough to handle a 7 foot 280 lbs man backing her down to the hoop, or that while her height and size are her strength in women’s sports it would be her weakness in the NBA. Honestly take away her height and wingspan and she is below average. If there is a woman that will play in the NBA it will be a guard, someone who is quick and can shoot, and wont need muscle.