The 6-foot-8-inch 23-year-old was named WNBA’s Defensive Player of the Year with 31 of 38 votes from a national panel of sports writers and broadcasters and she was the No. 1 overall draft pick for the Phoenix Mercury.
As an out lesbian, Griner has also worked to better the LGBT community, starting with trying to break her college Baylor of what she calls their double standard of being open to straight relationships, but not gay ones.
“To break something, we have to bring it up, we have to get it out there, and eventually the topic will start to become more of a conversation,” she said.
Griner also proposed to her girlfriend, fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson, in August.
“People tell me I’m going to break the barrier and trail blaze,” Griner said. “I just kind of look at it like, I’m just trying to help out, I’m just trying to make it where it’s not as tough for the next generation.”