It’s finally official—Brittney Griner is the newest member of the Phoenix Mercury.
The organization selected the Baylor Lady Bears product No. 1 overall in the 2013 WNBA draft on Monday night, completing a union that many thought inevitable when Phoenix won the draft lottery back in September.
Griner is quite a prize for this organization, as the standout center accumulated a number of accolades during her four seasons in Waco.
The 6’8” star earned four Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year awards, three conference Player of the Year nods and was twice honored as the AP Player of the Year in women’s basketball.
During the 2012-13 campaign, Griner averaged 23.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and a whopping 4.1 blocks per game.
Unfortunately, her Lady Bears were ousted in the Sweet 16 by a feisty Louisville Cardinals team that shot the lights out from deep and played the center extremely physical.
However, Griner did bring one national championship back to Baylor, as she led the program to an undefeated 40-0 season in 2011-12 during an epic junior campaign.
She accomplished everything imaginable during her collegiate career and is arguably one of the best women’s players at that level of the past 20 years. Now it’s time for bigger challenges in the WNBA, as Griner will be tasked with returning the Mercury to prominence.
This team finished 7-27 during the 2012 season, but looks to be on the rebound with healthy stars Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor, DeWanna Bonner and Candice Dupree on the roster.
Griner will only make Phoenix even more of a threat, and the center’s presence could possibly position the franchise as front-runners to win the title in 2013.
There could be even bigger things on Griner’s plate after the upcoming WNBA season concludes, as there are reports she is interested in competing against men and trying out for the NBA.
It’s going to be quite a year for Griner in 2013 and she’ll get things started with the Mercury’s home opener against the Chicago Sky on Monday, May 27 at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.