Thus far Brittney Griner has been the unarguable star of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament-men’s side included-and she took things a notch further last night when she pulled her Baylor Bears through to an upset victory over Duke. Next up for Griner and Baylor: a Final Four appearance and probable showdown with undefeated UConn. (I for one didn’t disregard the Bears; still, last night they exceeded my fairly high expectations.)
Only in her first year, Griner has captured media attention and forced basketball fans of all creeds to note the women’s game. Her promise, however, is so much more.
Like any great athlete, Griner is a force of nature, impossible to resist; for great athletes generally do not plead for attention, they command it. But here something rather less banal is being glimpsed: an expression of female power.