Brittney Griner Dunks Twice [VIDEO] But Phoenix Mercury Lose
Brittney Griner, the six feet, eight inch, 199 lb. rookie center for the Phoenix Mercury, and No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft, put on a show in her professional debut against the Chicago Sky, dunking twice in a 102-80 loss.
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Griner became the first women’s basketball player to dunk twice in one game. She was pleased to get the crowd off their feet with her hops, but said she wished the final score was in her favor. "I wish it was in a win, but whenever I can dunk, the crowd got into it.” Griner finished her first game with 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots in 27 minutes.
Griner did get herself into foul trouble in the first half, though, and her absence created a big hole defensively for the Mercury. Phoenix head coach Corey Gaines said that avoiding fouls is something Griner will need to learn to thrive in the pros.
"In the second half, she played well, but she can't do anything when she's on the bench," Gaines said. "It's a learning experience."
Griner is the most hyped rookie in WNBA history, but the show Monday was stolen from her by Sky rookie Elena Delle Donne. Delle Donne scored 22 points and grabbed eight boards while matching Griner’s four blocks. She also came out of the rookie showdown with the victory in hand.
"Today was absolutely amazing," Delle Donne said following the win. “We came here to get a win and that's what we're leaving with."
While Delle Donne and Griner had outstanding openers, the player of the game was Sky guard Epiphanny Prince, who racked up 26 points, on 9-of-15 shooting, to go with five assists, three rebounds and four steals. Prince was on fire from downtown, drilling 6-of-9 from 3-point land.
"It was nice to see everybody come together and play very well," Prince said. "The passes went very well, we had assists, we had rebounds, we just clicked on everything."