Since 2009, May 7 has been considered Brittney Griner Day in Houston – so decided the mayor when he saw the athlete play.
Brittney Griner wanted to serve in the Air Force
The future basketball player, the youngest of four children, was born on October 18, 1990, in Houston. She weighed almost 5kg at birth, becoming the biggest newborn in a month at St Joseph's Hospital. Parents Sandra and Raymond even saw this as a problem. "The baby will definitely have a complex," Dad worried at the time. Later in school, Griner wore T-shirts and basketball shorts, which had to be ordered by mail order – it was difficult to find items in the local shops in the right size.
Raymond, who had been in Vietnam and served as a sheriff, always seemed to be a strict and demanding parent. Little Brittney's main words were not 'mum' and 'dad', but 'ma'am' and 'sir'. Her father taught his daughter to sort out the carburettor, change the oil and repair the brakes. "I don't know what some parts are called," Griner said, "But I can fix them". The one girly thing Brittney loved was crocheting, "If you ever need a pillow, I can make one."
Her father's past reflected on Brittney's interests: at school she became a fan of the war channel. Her parents often caught her up at night in front of the TV screen. "I wanted to serve in the Air Force," Griner admitted. – But I think I outgrew fighter jets – they're not big enough for me." According to her father, Brittney also inherited his temper, as well as his love of football and volleyball. She wasn't interested in basketball until the 10th grade, when she tried to score dunks (sending the ball into the basket with an overhead shot) in the image of her idol, LeBron James.
After a couple of classes, the American began practicing with the Nimitz men's team, watching the guys move, pass and place blocks. On the court she demonstrated the balance and basketball savvy that impressed Ganon Baker – once the coach of LeBron and Kobe Bryant, and head of Nike Skills Academies for girls: "If Brittney keeps this up, I bet she will become one of the best players to ever play the game. I don't think I've ever said that about anyone."
Brittney wasn't at all afraid of the unexpected responsibility thrown at her, rather the opposite. "It helps me to know that people have high expectations of me," Griner said. – I [have] high expectations for myself.
Her second season for the Nimitz Cougars was only her third in basketball, but she was already averaging 23 points (which even men rarely do at her position as a centre), 11 rebounds and six blocks. She set and reinvented her own record time after time: in one game alone she had closed her opponents 25 times and in 2008-09 season she had 318 blocked shots. In 2009 she was named USA Today's High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Brittney Griner university records and bullying
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) couldn't pass up a rising self-taught star, so the Baylor Lady Bears of Baylor University signed her to a four-year contract. Greiner led the team to a national championship in 2012, and they finished the season with a 40-0 win-loss record. She also set another super achievement at the time, blocking 223 shots. Despite her height, Brittney impressed with her reading of the game, agility and speed.
"She dominates the game," said basketball player Elena Delle Donne. – "You watch other teams and all their thoughts are, 'How can we shut Brittney down? It's great to watch something like that. She's changed women's basketball."
But all along, Greiner has struggled to come to terms with the university's politics. When she arrived there in 2009, she had no idea of the principled stance of the administration toward the LGBT community – the Baptist university had an official policy against homosexuality and premarital sex. Greiner simply wanted to play under Olympic champion Kim Mulkey, with whom Brittney seemed to have a lot in common (both are daughters of former Marines). Brittney not only respected her coach's approach to discipline, but also appreciated how she defended her from ridicule about her looks and low voice. But over time, the basketball player became annoyed with her mentor's advice to hide her tattoo, delete Twitter posts about LGBT+ issues or "keep her business behind closed doors."
So after the 2012/2013 season, when Griner was named Associated Press Player of the Year and was named NCAA Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight year, she went to the WNBA Draft (the name given to the procedure by which association clubs recruit new players) at number one for the Phoenix Mercury. She was short-listed for the London Olympics but had to leave because her mother was diagnosed with lupus. Basketball trips with the team around the country happened less and less frequently, and home more often. "It hit me hard because I'm not there, I can't help her, I can't be there for her," Greiner recounted. – I would call her and she would cry. It was hard."
Caming out and a contract with Nike
The move to the pro leagues was the catalyst for her openness: Griner came out in an interview with Sports Illustrated. At the same time, she announced that she would no longer hide who she was, as she had in her school years, when she wrote in her personal diary: "Why am I different? Why can't I be like everyone else?"
Nike then signed her to a sponsorship contract, calling her decision a "fight against stereotypes". "People tell me I'm going to break the barrier and pave the way. And I'm just trying to help, trying to make it less difficult for the next generation," Greiner said. Her father did not accept her homosexuality, stating that he would not tolerate a lesbian at home and suggested she leave home. She later wrote about it in the book In My Skin: Life on and Off the Basketball Court, which came out in 2014.
Brittney proposed to her girlfriend, Tulsa Shock basketball player Glori Johnson, in August 2014. But eight months later, both were arrested on disorderly conduct charges for a fight that occurred between them in their own home in Arizona. They did get married a month later, but the marriage was short-lived as the basketball players divorced a year later. Even the birth of twins via IVF didn't save the family. Nevertheless, Brittney maintains a relationship with her children.
With his current wife, 30-year-old Sherell Griner (Watson), Brittney met at Baylor University. Sherell studied law and is now a blogger with 80,000 followers. Griner proposed to her in 2018 and they married two years later.
Is Brittney Griner really a transgender?
Britney Griner was not transgender and was not born male. Instead, the WNBA star is a woman who came out as a lesbian in 2013.
Since then, she has had two same-sex relationships as a male partner. Phoenix Her Mercury Basketball Club Her center doesn't care what people think of her and she seems happy with her own development.
Was Britney Griner born female?
Britney Griner was born female as the daughter of Sandra and Raymond Griner is neither transgender nor male. I'm a lesbian who came out of the closet on February 11, 2013.
Griner was being interviewed when he mustered up her courage and decided to disclose her sexual orientation for the first time. Her public statement shocked her parents and caused a difference between her father and daughter, in fact Britney moved out of the house and she had to put up with coaching for a while.
Britney Griner's early schooling was believed to be without much drama, but when she enrolled at Houston's Nimitz High School, things took a dramatic turn for her. has undergone significant changes. There, her body began to change rapidly, and soon she was unusually taller than other women.
Written by Michael Zippo
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