On Sunday, the Courant will present a story about Baylor’s 6-8 center Brittney Griner, the reigning national player of the year for the reigning national champion. This, of course, is in anticipation of Monday night’s big game against the Lady Bears at the XL Center.
Here are some of the comments we’ve acquired about what it must be like to be Griner from some of the college game’s foremost former post players.
Like UConn’s former national player of the year Kara Wolters, now working as a studio analyst for SNY on the team’s game telecast.
On what it is like being that tall as a woman. Wolters is 6-7
“I can totally relate, but I am sure it was totally worse of her in middle school when you are that tall,” Wolters said. “But playing a sport the way she plays basketball makes being a tall person a lot easier. Your height is a positive, as opposed to something that causes someone to just stare at your or talk about you. But it’s just hard being that tall. It’s hard to feel comfortable in your body. But you can tell that she’s embraced her height and look what she has done with it.”
Do you think most people believe “big girls” are inherently “mean girls”
“People may have the misconception that all big girls are tough and mean. I actually believe that you will discover there are more gentle giants than bad ass girls. Brittney seems sweet, like she’s doing her thing and everyone just leave her alone. She not in someone’s face, you never see her talk [trash]. She let’s her game talk for her.
“But her game has gotten tougher. Her game has grown to the point she doesn’t feel inclined to apologize for her size anymore. I got that vibe from her at first. She’s evolved from playing what I would call ‘excuse me’ basketball to becoming the dominant player she is. She knows she’s been blessed with a gift and she going to kick your butt with it. She’s literally grown into her dominance.”
Do you think not playing for the Olympic team last summer will hurt her WNBA career?
“I don’t think so, no. But too bad she couldn’t play. Too bad for her, too bad for USA Basketball.”
What must it be like to play against her as a post player?
“When I played against [the late] Margo Dydek [who was 7 foot] it was weird. I was always accustomed to being the biggest player [on the floor]. Then you would go against her and say to youself, ‘Holy crap.’
“It takes a few minutes to adjust. You get a couple of shots blocked and you say to yourself, ‘Well, Ok, I can’t do that anymore, let’s try something else.’