The two-time WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury selected Brittney Griner with the first overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft tonight. Griner becomes the third player ever selected first overall by the Mercury, joining Diana Taurasi (2004) and Lindsey Harding (2007, traded on draft day for Tangela Smith). Both Taurasi and Smith were integral pieces in leading the Mercury to its first two championships in franchise history (2007 and 2009).
The Mercury will hold an introductory press conference for Griner on Saturday, April 20 at 11:30 a.m. at US Airways Center. More details will be announced this week.
"We are very excited to welcome Brittney to our team and to Arizona," said Phoenix Mercury Managing Partner Robert Sarver. "She embodies a level of talent and energy that will not only positively impact our game on the court, but elevate women's basketball around the world."
Griner enters the professional ranks after one of the most celebrated collegiate careers in the history of women's college basketball. A three-time All-American, two-time Naismith Trophy winner and two-time Wade Trophy winner, Griner led Baylor to a 106-5 (.955) mark over her final three seasons, including a perfect 40-0 mark in 2011-12, the first of its kind in NCAA history. She was named The Associated Press Player of the Year as a junior and senior, joining Seimone Augustus and Chamique Holdsclaw as the only players to ever win the award in consecutive years.
"Brittney is a game-changer," Head Coach and General Manager Corey Gaines said. "She can defend, rebound, score, pass and run the floor. She has the whole package. She creates a world of problems for opponents and will open up new opportunities for our already-talented roster of playmakers."
The most dominant center the women's game has ever seen, Griner affects the game on both ends of the court. She is the first NCAA player to record 2,000 points and 500 blocks in a career, finishing second on the NCAA career scoring list with 3,283 points, and shattering both the men's and women's collegiate records for career blocked shots with 748. She was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year four times and the WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year three times. Griner was also a three-time Big 12 Player of the Year.
"Brittney headlines the next generation of great women's basketball players that will take our league to another level," President and Chief Operating Officer Amber Cox said. "Her combination of size, skill, athleticism and charisma is unlike anything we've ever seen in our game. Adding her to a group of dynamic stars like Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor, Candice Dupree and DeWanna Bonner will create an excitement about this franchise and this league that will be must-see basketball."
A transcendent star, Griner has captured the attention of mainstream sports fans by throwing down 18 dunks during her college career, three more than all other college female athletes combined. Topping off the total was an NCAA-record three dunks in her final home game at Baylor on her way to 33 points and a career-high 22 rebounds against Florida State in the second round of the NCAA National Tournament.
For Senior Night on March 4, Griner went out on a high note, scoring a Big 12-record 50 points on 21-of-28 shooting and recording her first dunk at the Ferrell Center since her freshman season, leading Baylor to its second consecutive undefeated conference title.
Standing 6-feet-8-inches tall with nearly a 7-4 wingspan, Griner's unique athletic ability was featured in a 2011 episode of ESPN's Sport Science where it was revealed she has bigger hands than Miami Heat forward LeBron James and a longer reach than Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum.
Griner will make her WNBA regular season debut on May 27 at US Airways Center when the Mercury hosts the Chicago Sky. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on ESPN2. A special "Griner Pack" ticket package is available by visiting PhxMerc.com/GrinerPack. Fans who purchase the pack will receive a ticket to three of Griner's first games and a special meet-and-greet with the No. 1 overall pick. Exclusive Brittney Griner merchandise is also available at ShopMercury.com.
Free Throw Percentage
Field Goal Percentage
Weight 208 pounds
Recorded 3,283 points at Baylor (second most in NCAA women's history)
Recorded 748 blocks at Baylor (more than any other player in NCAA history, male or female)
Generates 850 pounds of force when jumping off the ground
Recorded 18 dunks during her college career (three more than all other women's college basketball players combined)
Second-highest leading scorer in NCAA Women's Basketball history (3,283 points)
Big 12 Player of the Year (2011, 2112, 2013)
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Wade Trophy (2012, 2013)
Naismith Trophy (2012, 2013)
Wooden Award (2012, 2013)
Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Winner (2012, 2013)
AP Player of the Year (2012, 2013)
Led Baylor University to an undefeated season (40-0) and NCAA championship (2012)
Brittney's Wingspan (Andrew Bynum: 7' 3")
Brittney's Shoe Size in Mens
The width of Brittney's hand(Lebron James: 9.25")
Percent of Americans Brittney is taller than
Brittney's favorite movie
Audii and Sage
The names of Brittney's two pet snakes
Click on a photo below to view or click here to download
"We are very excited to welcome Brittney to our team and to Arizona. She embodies a level of talent and energy that will not only positively impact our game on the court, but elevate women's basketball around the world."
"Brittney headlines the next generation of great women's basketball players that will take our league to another level. Her combination of size, skill, athleticism and charisma is unlike anything we've ever seen in our game. Adding her to a group of dynamic stars like Diana Taurasi, DeWanna Bonner and Sammy Prahalis will create an excitement about this franchise and this league that will be must-see basketball."
"Brittney is a game changer. She can defend, rebound, score, pass and run the floor. She has the whole package. She creates a world of problems for opponents and will open up new opportunities for our already-talented roster of playmakers."
"Wow! All I have to say about that is game changer... I think everyone in the basketball world knows exactly what BG can do, and to bring that to phx with the pieces we already have is going to be something special.. It's def going to be a fun/great summer! Welcome to PHX BG!"