Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was looked upon as a league-savior of sorts when she was drafted first overall in the 2013 WNBA draft. Soon after that selection, she was looked upon as a groundbreaker of sorts, coming out as gay two days before journeyman NBA pivotman Jason Collins did the same in a historic Sports Illustrated profile.
Averaging 14.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game in only 25 minutes a contest, Griner has more than held her own in her rookie season. On top of that, Griner is also setting some cooler, more warming records. She’s leading the WNBA in jersey sales, according to OutSports:
Phoenix Mercury rookie Brittney Griner has lead the WNBA in jersey sales since the start of the 2013 season, according to the League. Griner was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft in April and came out publicly shortly after. Out Minnesota Lynx player Seimone Augustus is also on the list, at No. 7.
Griner wears No. 42 in honor of Major League Baseball's first black player, Jackie Robinson.
The WNBA may be perched a full step outside of the realm of North America’s professional Big Four, but that hardly matters. To have a young woman like Brittney Griner, born in the 1990s, to be leading a category like this? It speaks volumes as to how far we’ve come, and how much better things have gotten.
It also speaks to how much this particular jersey-seller can ball. Not a bad first few months on the professional scene, Brittney Griner. Keep on.