Awed by Brittney Griner's 26-point, 13-rebound performance in Tuesday night's national championship game, Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw called the 6-foot-8 junior the sport's most unstoppable player.
Unfortunately, the way McGraw worded the compliment has taken some of the spotlight away from Baylor becoming the first college basketball team ever to go 40-0 with a dominant 80-61 title-clinching victory over the Fighting Irish.
"She's one of a kind," McGraw said. "She's like a guy playing with women. It's just there's so many things that she can do that I've not seen a lot of women (do) … Well, there have been some guards that had some skill like that. But as a post player, she's the best I've ever seen."
McGraw's saying Griner is "like a guy playing with women" caused an immediate stir because of the taunts and insults the unusually tall Baylor star receives in opposing arenas and on social media. Asked by reporters to respond to McGraw's comment, Griner said, "Definitely, I take it as a compliment."
Give credit to Griner for being able to take McGraw's words as the compliment they were intended to be, but this entire episode should serve as a lesson for everyone in women's basketball. Such comments only stir up the nasty, hurtful perceptions of Griner, something the Baylor star definitely does not deserve.
McGraw released a statement via a Notre Dame spokesman late Tuesday night clarifying the meaning of her comments about Griner.
Said McGraw: "I would hope that it was clear to those in attendance at Tuesday's press conference that my comments were meant to be complimentary, and in reference to her style of play and her dominance in our game, nothing more."
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- Muffet McGraw
- Brittney Griner