Brittney Griner has been making quite a case for herself to land a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team that will compete in London this summer.
Twice already, Griner -- a 6-foot-8 star for Baylor -- has dunked in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament en route to the Final Four, and her Baylor team is 38-0 entering the weekend.
Griner is the lone collegiate player who has been named to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team Finalists Roster. The rest of women on that list all play in the WNBA, including Candace Parker, who also dunked twice in the NCAA tournament when she played for Tennessee. Parker dunked twice in the 2006 tournament against Army.
The 12-member roster for the Olympic team that will compete in London is expected to be chosen soon. Should Griner make the squad, it would be the first time a collegiate player was named to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team since 1988.
Griner threw down a one-handed dunk against Florida and then added a two-handed dunk against Georgia Tech.
Said Griner of the dunk against Georgia Tech, in which she hung on the rim for a moment, “That was probably my favorite dunk since being at Baylor.
Griner’s Baylor teammates have grown accustomed to seeing her dunk in practice and warm-ups, but seeing her do that in a game was impressive.
“In a game it’s something that automatically gets us fired up,” Griner’s teammate Odyssey Sims told reporters. “I think we are more excited for her than she is for herself.”
The first woman to dunk in a game was Cheryl Miller, who did so in 1982 in a high school game. The first woman to do so in a college game was Georgeann Wells, who did it with a men’s-sized basketball while at West Virginia in 1984.
Parker and Lisa Leslie both recorded dunks in the WNBA. Parker was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. basketball team in Beijing. Leslie, meanwhile, won four gold medals for Team USA, beginning in 1996 in Atlanta and running through Beijing. She has since retired as a competitive player.
No American woman has dunked in the Olympic Games, but if Griner makes the U.S. team, there certainly will be talk of that being a possibility. After all, there’s always time for the first...