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Brittney Griner Will get Her Jersey Retired By College Of Baylor

Brittney Griner, return, WNBA, Basketball, court, Russia, captive, all star

Brittney Griner, return, WNBA, Basketball, court, Russia, captive, all star

Griner’s prolonged listing of accomplishments and accolades embody main Baylor to the primary 40-0 nationwide championship season in NCAA historical past.

Brittney Griner had not been again to this system that she helped flip right into a nationwide championship contender since her final sport performed for the Baylor Bears in 2013. As The Athletic experiences, that each one modified on Feb. 17, when Griner took half in a halftime slam dunk competitors throughout the college’s sport towards Texas Tech forward of her jersey retirement ceremony.

Griner determined to get entangled by making an attempt to throw one of many contestants just a few lobs, the primary one missed him completely and the second mistimed his bounce, so he was compelled to aim a layup as a substitute of a slam dunk. Griner, by no means one to overlook a possibility to dunk the basketball, determined to play to the group and throw down certainly one of her signature one handed dunks. The second was becoming, as no ladies’s participant has dunked the basketball greater than Griner, who did it 18 instances over the course of her four-year profession at Baylor.

It had been 12 years since Baylor followers and alumni had seen Griner in any capability on the College of Baylor, and it was past time that her quantity 42 jersey hung within the rafters of Foster Pavilion alongside six others. Present Baylor ladies’s head coach Nicki Collen advised The Athletic at an alumni occasion that she simply wished to see Griner embraced by the college and have her second. “All I wished was Brittney to really feel liked, by our workforce, by our college, by our neighborhood,” Collen mentioned. “It was emotional to see her tears. It was emotional to see her smiles yesterday. Whether or not that is therapeutic or no matter, she’s part of our household and I’m so grateful that we have been capable of get this completed.”

Griner’s prolonged listing of accomplishments and accolades, together with main Baylor to the primary 40-0 nationwide championship season in NCAA historical past, underscores what an apparent transfer this could have been for the College of Baylor. This honor is one that ought to not have been within the place to be sidelined by Griner’s highly-publicized detainment by Russia. To her credit score, the enshrinement of Griner is one thing that Collen made a precedence as soon as she was employed by the college in 2021. In fact, it goes with out saying {that a} massive a part of the explanation it took so lengthy for the college to make this occur, exterior of the detainment and figuring out the logistics between Griner, the WNBA, and USA Basketball, is that Baylor lastly had a coach who was keen to prioritize Griner.

Additionally available on the jersey retirement ceremony have been Phoenix Mercury employees, which included workforce president Vince Kozar, former head coach Sandy Brondello, and present coaches Kristi Toliver, Michael Joiner, and newly minted head coach Nate Tibbetts in addition to the GM of the Mercury, Nick U’Wren.

Throughout an interview carried out by ESPN’s Sheryl Swoopes and Brenda VanLegen, Griner famous that witnessing her jersey be revealed made the 6-9 middle really feel “seen” and maybe that’s as a lot as Griner goes to say publicly, no less than to the media. Nonetheless, it’s clear from her actions throughout the retirement ceremony that she clearly nonetheless carries a deep love for the college and its followers that even a 12-year hiatus couldn’t extinguish. Griner belongs on the College of Baylor and he or she deserves to really feel liked and honored and cherished by it, not merely due to what she did for the college’s ladies’s basketball program, however for what she means to it. 

RELATED CONTENT: WNBA Star Brittney Griner Pronounces New Memoir, ‘Coming Dwelling’

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