WNBA Minute: Five Impressive Accolades of Brittney Griner’s Career

As it stands, Griner remains in Russia after being sentenced to a nine-year sentence on drug charges (for vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage).

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Brittney Griner is one of the biggest names in women’s basketball. She has numerous accolades (both collegiate and professional) and as she turns 32 this week (Oct. 18), it is important to acknowledge her and her accolades. Here are five impressive accolades from Brittney Griner’s career.

1.) She is both an NCAA champion and WNBA champion

Before playing for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, Griner played college ball at Baylor. She had a great career there as she averaged 22.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.1 blocks and 1.6 assists in four seasons. She had Baylor’s first triple-double in 2009, when she finished a game with 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocks. She also had her share of dunks and became the only woman to dunk twice in a single college game. Baylor won the NCAA championship in 2012 in the same year Griner was named AP Player of the Year and the Wade Trophy Player of the Year. And as she reached the WNBA, she won a championship in her second season. Winning championships at both stages is not an easy feat (for both NBA and WNBA players) and Griner managed to do both.

2) She is an eight-time WNBA All-Star

Griner is a multi-time All-Star, who first became an All-Star in her rookie season. She was named an All-Star every season after that (with the exception of 2016 when the WNBA did not hold a game because of the Olympics) and despite being unable to play, Griner was named a 2022 All-Star.

3.) She is a two-time WNBA scoring champion

Griner has had some impressive WNBA seasons, and in 2017 and 2019, she led the league in scoring.

In 2017, Griner averaged a (WNBA) career high 21.9 points and in 2019, she averaged 20.7 points. She was named the WNBA’s Peak Performer in scoring both years.

4.) She is an eight-time WNBA blocks leader

Defense was always one of Griner’s best attributes, and for eight seasons, she led the WNBA in blocks. She came into the league and averaged three blocks per game. In 2015, Griner averaged a career best four blocks per game.

Griner has led the league in blocks every season, with the exception of 2020. She averaged 1.8 blocks, while Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson averaged two per game. Griner has always been a remarkable shot blocker, and her dominance in the WNBA proves it.

5.) She is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year winner

Speaking of defense, Griner’s defense led to two Defensive Player of the Year awards. She won the award in 2014 and 2015, when she averaged 3.7 blocks and four blocks respectively. The first time she won Defensive Player of the Year was also the year of her WNBA championship. So, it was safe to say that was a successful season.

As it stands, Griner remains in Russia after being sentenced to a nine-year sentence on drug charges (for vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage). Griner released a statement on Tuesday thanking those who’ve supported her.

“Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home,” She said in a statement through her lawyer per CNN. “All the support and love are definitely helping me.”

The hope of bringing Griner home continues, and according to her lawyer there will be an appeal hearing on Oct. 25. 


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