Posted by: kevinfortruth | March 31, 2013

What is the big deal about Brittney Griner and her ability to dunk a basketball?


Just to be sure, I would be asking the same question if Brittney played for UCONN, Stanford, Notre Dame or any other women’s program in college basketball.

It is not as though Brittney is 6’2” – she is 6’8”, which means that her vertical reach is 9’2” without standing on her tiptoes.  All she needs to be able to dunk the ball is get a little over 10 – 11 inches off the ground to work the ball over the rim and into the basket.

On a side note, none of her dunks has been creative or exciting to watch – all of them just barely make it over the rim – nothing special.

So, why do so many people go “gaga” over her dunks?  Could it be because she is a girl and nothing more?  If so, that is sad.

There are many men a lot shorter that have dunked – some of them a full foot shorter than Griner.

All I am saying is that at her height, one would expect Griner to dunk – and to dunk often – and to be more forceful when doing so.

In a recent game between Baylor and Florida State, Griner chose to Tweet at halftime – doing what I consider a poor imitation of Babe Ruth.

As many baseball fans know, Babe Ruth, known for numerous  accomplishments, is known for “announcing” his intention to hit a home run by pointing to left-center field just before hitting for the distance.  Many baseball historians still debate his gesture – maybe out of jealousy – maybe because they supported other teams or other ball players.

Either way, it seems like Griner was desperately seeking attention by tweeting during a game – just doing so is a “no no” in all college sports programs.

Here is a quote from espn.com regarding the tweet.

“”Need two more dunks on home court for the best crowd ever! #BaylorNation” read a tweet posted from Griner’s account, @Brittney4Griner.”

After the tweet, Griner made sure that she gave her fans the two dunks she promised in her tweet. 

In my opinion, if she simply dunked twice without tweeting her intentions, that would have been fine – it is disappointing that she drew that much attention to herself and away from her team – especially considering there were four seniors playing their last game on their home court – yet she chose to be the center of attraction.

There is no doubt that Griner is an exceptional athlete – but at 6’8”, fans should not be in awe of her ability to dunk – it should simply be expected of someone her height. 

Just to prove my point, has anyone heard ESPN or any other media refer to any of Brittney’s dunks as “Slam Dunks?”  I think not.  Case closed.

If one is to be in awe of someone, all one has to do is to witness the University of Delaware games and see 6’5” Elena Delle Donne shoot 3-pointers like she were a point guard. 

Many of Elena’s 3-pointers are from way beyond the 3-point line.  Elena shoots comfortably from a distance others would consider to be “Hail Mary’s.”  Sure, there are many players who attempt a long 3-pointer or two from time to time, but Elena accomplishes extremely long shots on a regular basis while maintaining a high degree of accuracy – and she does all this while not feeling the need to tweet about her accomplishments.

Delle Donne’s extremely long shot with 2 seconds to go at halftime against North Carolina drew loud applause – the same kind of applause one would expect when viewing a fantastic slam-dunk in the NBA.  I must say, however, that her miraculous shot was during a home game attended by Vice President Joe Biden, a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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