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 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