In the 20 days leading up to the 20th annual WNBA Draft, WNBA.com and @WNBA are highlighting the first 19 No. 1 overall picks and their place in league history. Our 20-day countdown continues with Brittney Griner, the first selection in the 2013 WNBA Draft.
With the first pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, the Phoenix Mercury selected Baylor center Brittney Griner, who headlined a star-studded draft class led by the 3 To See of Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins. The 3 To See have already lived up to the hype surrounding their entrance into the WNBA as all three have already accumulated individual honors and led their teams to new heights.
Griner has already won two Defensive Player of the Year awards (2014, 2015) and has led the league in blocks in each of her three WNBA seasons. In 2014, her second season as a pro, she helped lead the Phoenix Mercury back to the WNBA Finals, where they won their third WNBA title and first since 2009. Griner is a three-time All-Star and has been named to two All-WNBA teams, taking First Team honors in 2014 and Second Team in 2015. And, at only 25 years old, she’s just getting started.
Delle Donne is the reigning WNBA MVP as she took home the top individual honor in 2015 after averaging career-highs in points (league-leading 23.4 ppg), rebounds (3rd in WNBA at 8.4 rpg), blocks (3rd in WNBA at 2.1), field goal percentage (46.0%) and free throw percentage (league-leading 95.0%). She has led the Chicago Sky to the playoffs in each of her three seasons – the team had never made the postseason in the seven seasons prior to her arrival – including an appearance in the 2014 WNBA Finals. In the debut season for the 3 To See in 2013, Delle Donne was the breakout star, taking home Rookie of the Year honors and being named to the All-WNBA Second Team. It would be the first of two All-WNBA selections for Delle Donne thus far in her career with many more on the horizon.
Diggins got off to the slowest start among the 3 To See in the WNBA, averaging just 8.5 points and 3.8 assists in her rookie campaign, but followed it up with a sophomore season to remember. She more than doubled her scoring average from her rookie season – finishing second in the league in scoring at 20.1 points per game to go along with 5.0 assists (4th in the WNBA), 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals. She increased her shooting percentage by nearly 10 points (.328 to .423) and her 3-point shooting by six percentage points (.244 to .284) on her way to winning Most Improved Player honors in a landslide. Unfortunately, her follow up to that season was cut short as she tore her ACL after just nine games in 2015. However, she recently signed a contract extension with the Dallas Wings and is expected back on the court this summer.