It did not take long for Brittney Griner to show that she would do things her way in professional basketball. Less than one game, in fact. The number one draft pick for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) gave notice of her formidable gifts on her 2013 debut, dunking twice in a few fourth-quarter minutes to match the league record for a full career.
Griner is different, and not just because she has the talent to transform women’s basketball. She has a cover star’s face but, at 6ft 8in, is an atypical model of femininity. Nike has recognised this, bowing to her wishes to model men’s lines when it signed her last spring. Griner’s homosexuality is a matter of record and, increasingly, a matter of pride: she has used her recent memoir, In My Skin, to take on her former coach Kim Mulkey and her primly conservative alma mater, Baylor University.
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