PHOENIX MERCURY

Baylor set to retire Brittney Griner’s jersey against Texas Tech

Jan 31, 2024, 4:28 PM | Updated: Feb 1, 2024, 8:51 am

Brittney Griner celebrates...

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Baylor will retire the jersey of former star and current Phoenix Mercury member Brittney Griner on Feb. 18 when the Bears host Texas Tech.

Griner helped Baylor go 40-0 her junior year en route to a national championship and finished her college career with 3,283 points and 1,305 rebounds. She was the AP Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

“I’m honored to return home to Baylor and celebrate where so much of my journey started,” Griner said. “I’m grateful to Coach Nicki (Collen) and the entire Baylor community and am looking forward to the opportunity to be back on campus, spend time with the team and have my family beside me to share in this incredible moment. Sic ’Em Bears.”

Griner also had 748 blocks during her four years at the school that saw Baylor go 135-15.

She was selected No. 1 in the 2013 WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury where she’s played her entire career. She’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist as well.

“We’re excited to have Brittney back on campus and honor her with the retirement of her jersey,” Baylor coach Nicki Collen said. “I have been saying this since I arrived at Baylor that she deserves to have her jersey retired and I wanted to make sure that happened when the timing was right.”

Griner had a strained relationship with former Baylor coach Kim Mulkey after she left the school. Mulkey said that it was a requirement for a player to have graduated to have her jersey retired. Griner got her degree in 2019.

One of Collen’s hopes when she took over as coach in 2021 was to have Griner’s number 42 retired. That was delayed when Griner was detained and imprisoned in Russia for 11 months in 2022 before she came back to the U.S. in a high-profile prisoner swap.

Collen brought the Baylor women’s team to Dallas in June when the Mercury played the Wings. She said at the time that the school was working on honoring Griner.

This will be the seventh Baylor women’s basketball jersey retired in its illustrious history, including Odyssey Sims, Melissa Jones, Nina Davis, Suzie Snider Eppers, Shelia Lambert and Sophia Young.

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