Brittney Griner: Olympic gold medalist & FIBA World Cup gold medalist

Who is Brittney Griner?

Brittney Griner is an American professional basketball player currently facing imprisonment in Russia on drug charges. She played for Baylor Lady Bears as a college athlete in Waco, Texas.

The only NCAA basketball player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots, Brittney Griner, plays for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

A three-time All-American, Brittney Griner was named the A.P. Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in 2012.

Brittney Griner Biography
Brittney Griner Biography

Likewise, Brittney Griner is the recipient of an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA championship, a FIBA World Cup gold medal, and a WNBA championship.

Quick Facts

Full NameBrittney Yevette Griner 
BirthdayOctober 18, 1990
Age 32 years old
Sun signLibra
TraitsPositive traits- Cautious, creative, and understanding
Negative traits- Sulky, indecisive, and ineffectual
BirthplaceHouston, Texas, USA
Sexual OrientationLesbian 
Height6 feet and 9 inches
HairDark brown
ParentsRaymond Griner (father)
Sandra Griner (mother)
SiblingsShkera Griner (sister)
Pier Griner (sister)
Declaro Griner (brother)
EducationBaylor University
Marital statusMarried
SpouseCherelle Watson (wife)
Profession Professional basketball player
Net WorthUSD 5 million
Social mediaInstagram

Early Life, Parents, and Education

Brittney Griner was born on October 18, 1990. She was born in Houston, Texas, USA. As of 2023, she is 32 years old.

Brittney Griner is the daughter of Raymond Griner and Sandra Griner. A former Harris County sheriff, Griner’s father Raymond was a Marine veteran. He served in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969.

Griner is the youngest of four siblings. A student of Nimitz High School, Griner played basketball throughout high school. In addition, she also played varsity volleyball as a high school freshman.

Baby Brittney with her Mother, Aunts and sisters
Baby Brittney with her Mother, Aunts, and sisters

As a part of the Nimitz Cougars, Griner led her team to the Texas 5A girl’s basketball state championship game during her senior year. But unfortunately, the team lost 52–43 to Mansfield Summit High School.

Griner created history and set a single-game record of seven dunks against Aldine High School by dunking 52 times in 32 games in her senior year. As a result, Houston mayor Bill White declared May 7, 2009, Brittney Griner Day.

Against Houston Alief Hastings on November 11, 2008, she blocked 25 shots. This became the most ever recorded by a female in a high school game in the U.S. She recorded 318 blocks, a single-season record in her 2008–09 season.

In 2009, she was named WBCA All-American. Likewise, she participated in the 2009 WBCA High School All-America Game, scored 20 points, and collected nine rebounds.


Collegiate Career

After graduating high school, Griner enrolled at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She blocked 223 shots as a freshman and set the all-time single-season record. This secured her name as one of women’s basketball’s most outstanding shot blockers.

Griner became the seventh player to dunk during a women’s college basketball game and the second woman to dunk twice in a single college game in January 2010. This gave the team a lopsided 99–18 victory against Texas State University.

Griner was then ejected from a game on March 3, 2010, after Griner threw a right-handed roundhouse punch, breaking the nose of Texas Tech player Jordan Barncastle during a battle for position near the lane. As a result, another one-game suspension adding to a one-game suspension, was mandated against Griner as per NCAA rules.

Brittney Griner winning moments
Brittney Griner winning moments

Griner made an NCAA tournament record on March 22 with 14 blocked shots and secured a 49–33 win against the Georgetown Hoyas. Baylor defeated Duke 51–48 in the Elite Eight. Griner set a new NCAA Women’s Tournament record after blocking nine shots, totaling 35 for the tournament.

Although Baylor reached the Final Four, the team lost out to eventual-champion UConn. However, Brittney Griner earned the title A.P. Second Team All-American following the game.

In her sophomore year, Griner averaged 23 points a game and received First Team All-American honors after scoring 40 points against Green Bay in the Sweet 16. As a junior, she averaged 23.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, and five blocks per game.

After successfully blocking more shots than any other Division I women’s team during that season, Brittney Griner was honored with the A.P. Player of the Year and the 2012 Premier Player of Women’s College Basketball titles.

Baylor won the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, 80–61, over Notre Dame on April 3, 2012. Griner was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player after leading Baylor with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocked shots. The Baylor Bears remained undefeated that season with 40 wins making it the most wins ever in NCAA history.

In 2013, Baylor was defeated by the University of Louisville Cardinals in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. This marked the end of Griner’s college basketball career.

Professional Career

Griner was selected as the first overall pick by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2013 WNBA draft. She was named a WNBA all-star in her rookie season and averaged 3.0 blocks per game.

Former president Barack Obama with WNBA team
Former president Barack Obama with Brittney Griner and team

She made her debut on May 27, 2013, against Chicago Sky. She equaled the WNBA dunk record of Candace Parker’s career total of two dunks.

Griner averaged 15.6 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, and 3.7 blocks per game in the 2014 season. Setting a WNBA record with 11 blocks in a regular season game win against the Tulsa Shock, Griner scored 21 points and eight rebounds on June 29, 2014.

In addition, she played a significant role in helping the Mercury defeat the Los Angeles Sparks, 93–68, at Staples Center and became the first WNBA player to dunk in a playoff game. The Mercury finished 29–5 in the 2014 season and set the WNBA record for most wins in a regular season. In the 2015 season, Griner averaged a career-high with a WNBA record of 4.0 blocks per game.

Griner set a WNBA playoff record in the 2015 playoffs with 11 blocks in a game one victory against the Tulsa Shock. As a result, the Mercury made it to the second round, where the Minnesota Lynx defeated them.

In the 2016 season, Griner recorded the sixth triple-double in WNBA history. First, the Mercury won against the Atlanta Dream, where Griner had 27 points, ten rebounds, and ten blocks. Then, making it to the semifinals, The Mercury faced the championship defending Minnesota Lynx in a best-of-5 series but got defeated 3–0.

In 2016, Griner was selected for the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team at the Summer Olympics. The team beat Spain 101–72 in the final, after which Griner earned her first Olympic gold medal.

Brittney Sharing her happiness after winning the Olympic gold medal
Brittney Sharing her happiness after winning the Olympic gold medal

Griner scored a career-high 38 points and nine rebounds in a 98–90 overtime win against the Indiana Fever on March 12, 2017, after re-signing with the Mercury to a multi-year deal. She scored a career-high 38 points and nine rebounds in a 98–90 overtime win against the Indiana Fever on June 7, 2017.

In 2018, Griner was voted into the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game. This was her fifth all-star game appearance.

She scored a season-high 33 points along with 18 rebounds and seven blocks in a 104–95 victory over the Atlanta Dream on August 18, 2018. With the number 5 seed in the league, the Mercury finished off the season 20–14.

After advancing to the semifinals for the third year, the Mercury played against the Seattle Storm. However, in game 5, the Mercury’s season ended after they lost 94–84.

In 2019, Griner was voted into the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game. She scored a season-high 34 points in a 94–86 loss to the Chicago Sky on August 25, 2019.

The Mercury finished with a 15–19 record and the number 8 seed and were eliminated 105–76 by the Chicago Sky in the first-round elimination game. The 2020 season was delayed and shortened owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. After 12 games, Griner left the bubble, citing personal reasons.

Apart from this, Griner played for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the WCBA in China in the 2013–14 off-season. She also played in Russia for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the 2016–17 off-season.

In 2021, Griner was selected for her second Olympics. Again, the U.S. team was undefeated and won the gold medal.

Relationships and Children

After publicly coming out as a lesbian on February 11, 2013, in an interview with Sports Illustrated, Griner wed fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson on May 8, 2015. Less than a month after their marriage, Griner filed for an annulment of the union on accounts of fraud and duress.

Brittney Griner with her ex-wife, Glory Johnson
Brittney Griner with her ex-wife, Glory Johnson

After the annulment was denied, the pair got divorced in June 2016. Before their separation, Griner and Johnson were arrested on charges of assault and disorderly conduct in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 22, 2015.

Both Griner and Johnson were suspended for seven games by the WNBA on May 15, 2015. In addition, Griner pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges and completed 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling.

Griner and Johnson share two children. The former couple welcomed their twin daughters on October 12, 2015. The twins were conceived with Johnson’s eggs via in vitro fertilization.

In June 2019, Griner married her partner, Cherelle Watson. They were living a happily married life before Brittney’s Imprisonment.

Cherelle Watson with her wife
Brittney Griner with her wife, Cherelle Watson

U.S President Joe Biden Tells Brittney Griner’s Wife, Cherelle Watson, He Will Pursue Every Avenue To Bring Her Home

Brittney Griner Arrest, Trial, and Sentencing

Brittney Griner was arrested on drug charges in Russia on February 17, 2022, after being detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport. The Federal Security Service discovered Griner carrying vaporizer cartridges containing less than a gram of hash oil.

A Moscow court extended the period of Griner’s detention in mid-March 2022. The U.S. State Department stated that Griner was being “wrongfully detained” in early May 2022.

It was reported on May 15 that the United States and Russia would consider a prisoner swap between Griner and international illegal arms dealer Viktor Bout. On June 27, Griner’s trial was scheduled to begin on July 1, extending her detention by six months.

Griner pled guilty on the second day of her trial. The Russian court found Griner guilty and sentenced her to nine years in prison on August 4.

Brittney Griner Net Worth and Lifestyle

As of 2023, Brittney Griner has a net worth of approximately USD 5 million. Griner has made quite impressive earnings as a result of her basketball career.

Brittney Griner photoshoot with her wife, Cherelle Griner
Brittney Griner photoshoot with her wife, Cherelle Griner

She famously earned 12 times more than her rookie payday with the Phoenix Mercury playing for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls in the 2013–14 off-season. Griner earned USD 600,000 when she played for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls for four months.

Likewise, Griner, who played in Russia for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the 2014–15 and 2015–16 off-seasons, earned approximately USD 1.5 million.

Social Media

Brittney Griner Instagram

Brittney Griner was active on Instagram under the username “brittneyyevettegriner.” The basketball player has over 467k Instagram followers.

Her Last post on Instagram was on Feb 6, 2022, as Russian police arrested her on Feb 17, 2022. Griner used to share pictures of her game and adorable photos with her wife, Cherelle Watson.

Brittney Griner Twitter

On Twitter, Brittney Griner is active under the username “brittneygriner.” Joined in December 2012, Griner’s Twitter has a total of 97.3k followers. Unlike Instagram, Griner does not have an active presence on Twitter. She made her last tweet in February 2019.

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