Ever since she became a YouTube sensation a few years ago, stunning the basketball loving world by fiercely and repeatedly, dunking like a guy, Brittney Griner seemed destined for hoops domination.

Brittney Griner cuts down nets

And now that she’s led Baylor’s Lady Bears to the national championship, Griner has finally fulfilled the prodigious destiny that many predicted for her.

By destroying Notre Dame in the championship game Tuesday night, Baylor becomes the first college basketball team, women or men, to go 40 – 0.  And with the 26 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots that she contributed to the blowout; the 6’8” Brittney Griner has cemented her legend in women’s basketball.

Let me offer some perspective about Brittney Griner’s impact on the women’s game.  While there have been many great female players, a number of them tall, skilled and intimidating, who can actually throw down a dunk or two, like Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker among others, none have been the shutdown defender that Brittney Griner is.

Griner is to women’s college basketball what Lew Alcindor was to the men’s game more than 40 years ago. (Alcindor -AKA -Kareem Abdul Jabbar – to those of you who don’t remember or are too young to know the birth name he played with while leading UCLA to three straight national championships)

At this point in time Griner has no peer, amateur or professional.  So what else does she have to prove?  Shouldn’t she leave the college game and turn pro?

Baylor’s superstar junior who will turn 22 in October is now eligible to leave early and go to the WNBA which launches its season next month.  But the WNBA pays its top players virtually poverty wages compared to men.

The average WNBA salary is well under $100 thousand per season, and as great as she is, even Griner would be hard pressed to demand much more from the cash-strapped, below-the-radar, league.

Griner could also go overseas and play where the pay is much better, but she has made it clear she wants to return to Baylor for her senior year in the fall, which is bad news for Baylor’s opponents.

So what’s the chance of Baylor winning another championship next year, and carving out another unblemished season of 40 wins?  With Brittney Griner coming back as an even better and more dominant player, it’s not only possible, it’s likely.

 

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