Griner’s new book exposes ‘all the pain I felt’ at Baylor
FEB 27, 2014 11:54p ET
Brittney Griner left Baylor with an NCAA championship ring and a reputation as one of the greatest women's basketball players of all time. But less than a year after her collegiate career ended, Griner is revealing that what the public saw of her time in Waco is far from the realities of her life off camera.
Now she is opening up about those difficulties in her new tell-all book, "In My Skin."
Griner says her homosexuality was well-known around campus during her time at Baylor, but the two-time first-team All-America didn't publicly acknowledge her sexuality until a USA Today interview in April 2013, just days after she was drafted first overall by the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA.
"I would love to be an ambassador for Baylor, to show my school pride, but it's hard to do that — it's hard to stand up and say, 'Baylor is the best!' — when the administration has a written policy against homosexuality," Griner wrote. "I've spent too much of my life being made to feel like there's something wrong with me. And no matter how much support I felt as a basketball player at Baylor, it still doesn't erase all the pain I felt there."
In May, Griner said head coach Kim Mulkey asked her not to be open publicly about her sexuality, because doing so would hurt recruiting at the Baptist university.
Griner also wrote about the Bears' failed chase for a second consecutive national title that ended with a loss to Louisville in the round of 16 in 2014.
"Cracks existed beneath the surface. And the game against Louisville, with the pressure cranked up, blew those cracks wide open . . . I didn't deliver the way I usually did, and Kim got outcoached. We both underperformed," Griner wrote. "We had created something magical for almost four years, and that night we watched, almost helplessly at times, as it melted away. We were left staring at all our warts and flaws, all the things about each other that drove us crazy. And we didn't have a national championship, the piece of shiny jewelry, to distract us from that reality."
Griner's book also addresses the 2010 incident during a game against Texas Tech, when she punched Jordan Barncastle.
"I used to believe fighting was a way for me to control things that felt out of my control. I was trying to take back the power, to show everyone they couldn't just say whatever they wanted about me and trample on my feelings," Griner wrote. "In the days and weeks that followed, I would come to realize I wasn't in control at all, and that allowing my anger to own me was actually making me more vulnerable, not less."