Brittney Griner Blossoms After A Tough First Year

July 16, 2014

(Photo courtesy of WNBA)

After a tough first season in the Women's National Basketball Association, Brittney Griner is blossoming into the player everyone thought she would be— all the while embracing her status as a role model for the LGBT community.

Last season, Griner was in the spotlight after leaving Baylor, coming out and writing a candid memoir "In My Skin" that was critical of her college coach Kim Mulkey.

Griner said the book wasn't really a distraction, but the media attention "was crazy."

After playing in China during the WNBA offseason, Griner returned to the Phoenix Mercury stronger and more confident. As her Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi said, "She's a totally different player."

The 6-foot-8 Griner had her second dunk of the season in a win on Tuesday night, when Phoenix improved to a league-leading 17-3 record.