Big, Bad Brittney from Baylor<br />

Big, Bad Brittney from Baylor

Brittney Griner could emerge as the greatest player to ever play women’s basketball

Chris Wilder

by Chris Wilder, April 04, 2012

Big, Bad Brittney from Baylor<br />

she tried to paint a picture of Brittney, the college student. “She's very comfortable in her own skin,” said the coach. “She runs around campus on her [skate]board and her body painted at football games, doing back flips on the sideline.

“This is a human being, people. This is someone's child. She didn't wake up and say: ‘God, make me be 6-8.’ This child is as precious as they come when it comes to being a good person, a sweet kid, probably the easiest I've ever coached. Yet the stuff people say about her, the stuff people write about her [on social media sites], it’s got to stop. And it's constant. For her to handle it as well as she does, I just love the kid.”

Brittney apparently doesn’t let it bother her as much as it ticks off her coach. “I love being tall,” she said. “There wasn't really any teasing growing up. I guess they were smart enough not to tease the big kid. I like being different. The only thing that sucks: Can’t get that little sports car. I can’t go in the [shoe] store and say, ‘Hey, I need a 17.’ But I can go online. More options, more colors.”

But what about the online chatter?

“I go search my name sometimes and see what people say. [School officials] tell me not to, because people are kind of mean, but it doesn't bother me. I know things they say aren’t true. They are trying to get into my head and try to stop me. It's not going to work.”

Griner says that she goes on Twitter quite often because it gives her a chance to be herself. You’re not going to find her, though; she uses an alias. She is the opposite of Skylar Diggins, who picked up 18,000 followers after Notre Dame’s Final Four win over Connecticut. Griner has about 200 followers. “My name is not on Twitter,” she said. “All the Twitter accounts… griner42… they're all fake. I don't know who’s doing them, but they’re not me.”

Meanwhile, her teammates are very protective of her. “It’s ridiculous some of the things that are being said or written,” said Destiny Williams, a junior on the team. “The kid has become used to it. I think it frustrated her during her freshman year a little bit, but she's realized she has to let it go in one ear and out the other.

“I think she tries to represent all people who are different or want to be, but they’re afraid to. She’s the perfect role model for that… She loves being who she is. She's just a big kid. She loves candy. She loves bacon. She loves sweets and soda. This is who she is. I honestly think she loves being in her own skin, and we need more people like that.”

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