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“We Might Not Have a Job for Very Much Longer”: Before WNBA Stardom, Brittney Griner’s “Cartoonish” Stats From 2007 Stunned Her Legendary Teammate

Published 10/02/2022, 3:00 PM EDT

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Brittney Griner was under the attention of many, even before making her WNBA debut. The Phoenix Suns center is currently fighting for her freedom in a Russian prison after being sentenced to nine years for drug possession charges. It has been over 225 days and Griner continues to remain in prison.

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Her friends and family have been doing all they can to get Griner home and keep her spirits afloat. Griner’s Phoenix Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi revealed her opinion when she first saw Griner in action in a video.


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During an interview with Time, the three-time NBA champ talked about Brittney Griner and her situation in July. Griner had not played organized basketball until high school. She rose to the ranks quite quickly and got famous due to her dunking YouTube clip in 2007. 

Brittney Griner impressed Diana Taurasi in her viral dunking video

The viral video caught the attention of Griner’s teammate Taurasi while she was playing in Russia. The two-time Finals MVP reckoned that Griner was making grown-up dunks at the age of 17, which was quite sensational. Taurasi added“We were just like, ‘Well, that’s the future of basketball. We might not have a job for very much longer.” 


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The 10-time All-Star suggested that some of Griner’s high school stats, including 25 blocks in a single game, were quite ‘cartoonish’ at the time. Taurasi and Griner have been teammates since the latter joined Phoenix Mercury in 2013. They have been best of friends and have shown impressive on-court chemistry. Diana Taurasi continues to support Griner and her family in tough times and hoped she would return home soon.


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In the video, a 17-year-old Griner is seen taking slam dunks one after another. As she runs toward the hoop every time, her teammates show a lot of support and cheer her every dunk. The video made Griner quite a sensation in the WNBA, and six years later, she entered the league with the Phoenix Mercury.


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Watch This Story: WNBA star Brittney Griner’s saga in Russia: The entire timeline

The 31-year-old still has a long way to go in terms of her career. However, the present situation has restricted her from being close to the sport she loves the most. The American government and Griner’s family are making all efforts they can to get the WNBA star released from a Russian prison. Hopefully, the eight-time All-Star will find freedom and return home soon. 

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Written by:

Rohit Kumawat


One take at a time

Rohit Kumawat is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing an MBA in Media and Business Management, Rohit holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been working as a Sports and Entertainment writer for over a year.
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Edited by:

Pritam Priyedarshi