Throughout the 2013 WNBA season, Brittney Griner will give the X-Factor an inside look at her life as rookie in the WNBA. Follow along for exclusive content, photos and insight directly from the league's No. 1 overall draft pick.
Posted by Brittney Griner: June 11, 2013
"Back From the Road!"
Itís your girl back with another post in my rookie diary.
A lot has happened since my first post. I managed to get a couple dunks in our home opener, but it honestly didnít mean that much to me since we lost to the Chicago Sky. We wanted to get that ďWĒ in front of the X-Factor (which was amazing) but fell a little bit short. Next time, thereís no doubt in my mind we will play better in front of our home crowd.
After the home opener on May 27, we then left for a tough three-game road trip where we faced the 2010, 2011 and 2012 WNBA champions. We dropped the first two against the Storm and Lynx, but picked up a huge win in Indiana. Did you all see Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner? They were NOT going to let us lose! The entire team came out with a better effort and helped get us back on track Ė I was proud of them.
As you may know, I didnít end up playing against the Fever due to a left knee sprain. But donít worry; Iím going to be fine and taking it day by day. Plus, Krystal [Thomas] and Lynetta [Kizer] got my back when Iím not in the game Ė Iíve learned a lot from them already.
I actually just got back home from that road trip Ė my first with the team. I loved it! I had a great time bonding with everyone and feel like I have a good grasp of what life is like on the road for a WNBA team. We travel just like everyone else Ė we arrive early and check our bags, wait at the terminal to board and have to deal with really small, cramped and tiny seats on every flight (okay, maybe thatís just me). In all seriousness, though, it does give us a chance to just talk and get to know each other better which I definitely love doing.
The response from fans at each city has been overwhelming in a good way. Everyone has been so supportive and kind Ė at least until the game startsÖ (Iím just playing; I love all my fans!)
As a team, we might be 1-3 but we are definitely always working to get better. Up next, we play the Los Angeles Sparks at home (Friday, June 14) and will need to play very well to get a win. They have such a talented team with Candace Parker, Alana Beard, Kristi Toliver and Nneka Ogwumike leading the way.
With so much happening, I still canít believe that it hasnít even been two months since I was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury! I have to keep that in mind because there is so much I want to do on and off the court and need to pace myself. I know that if I keep working hard, everything will come together.
I think thatís it for now! I hope to see you all on Friday chanting ďBeat L.A.Ē super loud!
Posted by Brittney Griner: May 23, 2013
"Phoenix, Here I Come!"
Words cannot express how excited I am to see you all at our home opener against the Chicago Sky on May 27! I want you all to yell, scream and cheer as loud as you possibly can to help us tip off the season with a win.
So, I guess this is my first blog (or, diary?) for PhoenixMercury.com. I'll be posting my thoughts here throughout the season to give you an inside look at what life is like for me, my teammates and WNBA players in general. Make sure to also follow me on Twitter @brittneygriner as well.
On my blog, I will be giving fans all the dirt on my teammates! Just kidding...I'm still a rookie so I know my place, trust me. Seriously, though, my teammates have been amazing and I can already feel such a strong bond with all of them -- there's nowhere else I'd rather be.
I was asked after practice recently how training camp has been coming along. I told the media, "I can finally breathe now!" Camp in Phoenix is no joke; they weren't kidding when they told me how much running I'd be doing, my goodness. But I feel like I am finally acclimated to the system and really starting to get a feel for how each of us plays. I'm doing a lot of things I've never done before on the basketball court -- lots of movement and spacing. I don't want to give our "secrets" away, though! I'm still learning, but I'm having so much fun while doing so.
Seeing how hard Diana Taurasi works in practice has been amazing. She takes it to another level and is basically another coach on the floor. She helps us work really hard as a team but she is also the nicest person ever. Sometimes I still can't believe I'm playing on the same floor with her, Penny Taylor, Candice Dupree, DeWanna Bonner and the entire team -- I feel very blessed.
As a team, we understand the expectations are high for us this season. Yeah, we're excited, but we never get complacent. The coaches (Corey Gaines, Julie Hairgrove and Earl Cureton) have been great in helping us stay focused and never satisfied. We understand how hard we have to work to accomplish our goals. One thing I've noticed about the team is that everyone is super unselfish. I think that is one of the biggest factors in being successful on the floor.
Alright, time for me go for now. Practice is over and I'm heading to the weight room after a few interviews. I'll probably grab lunch after that....I think a BLT sounds good. Okay, just the bacon.