Baylor Retires Brittney Griner’s Number in Emotional Ceremony

Griner's alma mater went on to defeat Texas Tech

Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner reacts during ceremony to retire her jersey before the game between the Baylor Bears and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

During her time playing for the Baylor Bears, Brittney Griner amassed some of college basketball’s top honors — including two stints as a first-team All-American, three consecutive seasons as the Big 12’s Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player for the 2012 Final Four. That’s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg; the list of her collegiate honors is quite impressive.

All of which is to say that it wasn’t surprising to see that Baylor would honor Griner by retiring her jersey number; it was likely more a question of when than if. And the “when” of it all now has a date: Baylor retired Griner’s number, 42, on Sunday, February 18, before the Bears’ game against Texas Tech.

In the lead-up to the game, Baylor coach Nicki Collen said, “If you grow up loving this game, if you care about this game, you want to see the greats honored.”

As the Associated Press reported (via ESPN), Collen has sought to honor Griner for several years. Sunday’s game was also Griner’s first time attending a Baylor home game in 11 years. Griner described herself as “just full of emotion” during the ceremony — and also dunked a basketball while she was there.

On a more sentimental note: it was genuinely heartwarming to look at some of the photographs of this event and see Griner looking ebullient as she celebrated. To state the obvious: she’s been through a lot in the last few years. As for Griner’s alma mater, they did pretty well for themselves on Sunday afternoon. When the game ended, Baylor had defeated Texas Tech 61-32; they’re currently ranked 21st in the nation.

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