The University of Baylor’s standout women’s center Brittney Griner is slated to become the no. 1 overall draft pick in the 2013 WNBA draft, but an opportunity to play in the NBA for the Dallas Mavericks may be a bit more enticing to the 6’8″ three-time all-American senior.
According to ESPN.com, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is considering selecting Griner in the second round of the NBA draft. “If she is the best on the board, I will take her,” he told ESPN prior to the Mavs matchup with the Lakers 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.”
After amassing 3,283 points (2nd most ever), 748 blocks (most ever) and 18 dunks (most ever) in her collegiate career, Griner has been regarded as one of the most prolific women’s college basketball players ever. Last year, she led the Lady Bears to a 40-0 record, capped off with an NCAA Championship. She fell short this season, after being ousted in the sweet 16 round of the tournament.
Griner took to Twitter last night to accept Cuban’s offer stating, “I would hold my own! Lets do it.”
The outspoken Mavs owner, who is also an investor on the television series Shark Tank, has been known to stir up controversy around the league. “She’d still have to make the team. I’m not going to carry her just to carry her. I don’t think, anyways. But I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to giving her the opportunity.”
Griner’s quest to transcend NBA gender limitations is not as abnormal as you may think. In 1979, UCLA star Ann Meyers attempted to try out for the Indiana Pacers but failed to make the team.
The 2013 WNBA draft will be held on April 15 in Bristol, Connecticut. The first round will air live on ESPN 2 at 8pm. — Christopher Harris