Baylor University’s All-American Brittney Griner may have a future in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told reporters he would consider drafting the 6-foot-8-inch phenom if she’s the best player available for his team.
“If she is the best on the board, I will take her,” he said before the Mavericks faced the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. “I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about it already. Would I do it? Right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance, and it’s not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it.”
Cuban would select the Big 12 player of the year in the second draft of the NBA or invite her to play in the Mavericks’ summer league.
Griner, who’s the first NCAA player to score more than 2,000 points, would love the opportunity. “I would hold my own! Lets do it,” she tweeted.
The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year wouldn’t be the first woman to consider entering the NBA Draft. Ann Meyers-Drysdale, former UCLA star and current general manager of the Phoenix Mercury, signed a free-agent contract with the Indiana Pacers in 1979.
Like Meyers-Drysdale, Griner has the ability to succeed in the hypermasculine NBA. She’s dunked 18 times and has scored numerous triple-doubles. Griner averaged 23 points per game at Baylor was elected to the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball team.
Despite her accomplishments, Cuban wouldn’t let Griner walk on the team without trying out because of the caliber of talent in the NBA. His motives are also monetary.
When asked about Griner’s marketing potential, he said, “That’d sell out a few games.”
Despite the high hopes of achieving Monica’s “Love & Basketball” dream, Griner will more-than-likely play in the WNBA. She has entered the WNBA draft and the Phoenix Mercury will probably select her first overall.
Yahoo! Sports editor, Kelly Dwyer, thinks the Phoenix Mercury is exactly where Griner needs to be.
“Brittney Griner has the potential to be a franchise-leading, league-dominating superstar in the WNBA. That’s the sort of pressure and expectation we should be placing on her, because these are expectations she’s fit to handle. To probably exceed.”
She’s not a gimmick to be gawked at and over-scrutinized by the collection of NBA executives and bored NBA freaks who watch the Summer League every year. No, at that point in her summer schedule she’s supposed to be here, doing damage for the Phoenix Mercury and leading a turnaround for a proud franchise that has been in the WNBA Finals four times, while winning the championship in 2007 and 2009.”
Oh well. It was nice to dream.