Brittney Griner, who recently closed out one of the most dominant college careers in women’s basketball history, is coming to China.
Apparently not satisfied enough with their previous 6’8 dunking female center, the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls have taken things up a notch, signing not only the world’s greatest women’s dunker, but possibly its most dominant as well.
At Baylor, the 6-foot-8 Griner scored 3,283 points, second all time, blocked 748 shots, the most for a man or woman, and dunked 18 times, most ever for a female player. In April she was drafted No. 1 by the Phoenix Mercury, and briefly entertained trying out for an NBA team (thanks, Mark Cuban!).
Playing in the NBA would have raised the league’s profile. Instead, she’ll be raising the profile of China’s professional women’s basketball league, one that already got a huge boost last season when Maya Moore’s Shanxi team beat Liz Cambage’s Zhejiang in the finals. (That’s the female LeBron James vs. the aforementioned 6-foot-8 dunking center.)
The WCBA has money, and some teams — Zhejiang, for example — are willing to spend it. Moore said last season that in China she was making “significantly more than double her rookie [WNBA] contract.” Griner, it can be assumed, is getting a similar deal, spurred by Zhejiang’s desire to win a championship. From the team’s website via NiuBBall:
“In order to move forward in strengthening our team and to obtain even greater results for next season, the club started the off-season process to find a foreign player extremely early. After a period of communication and negotiation, we can officially announce as of today that we have signed American women’s superstar, Brittney Griner.”
We asked a variation of this question last season when Maya Moore was here, so let us do the same with Griner: how many games will it take for her to score 60 games? I’ll set the over/under at 0.5.