Brittney Griner was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters on Tuesday, but the NCAA record-holder said she’ll stick to the WNBA.
The rookie for the Phoenix Mercury was taken in the exhibition team’s annual draft, but she already has a full slate with her time in America and a commitment to play in China this winter.
Griner said she told the Harlem Globetrotters of her intentions ahead of time, but the team seemed intent on honoring her with a pick anyway.
“Brittney Griner is a great ambassador for the game of basketball and a terrific player,” Harlem Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider said. “Our North American tour runs from the end of December to the end of April, which would not conflict with the WNBA season. The Globetrotters already have two outstanding female stars, so the transition to our roster would be seamless.”
Brittney Griner added that she doesn’t have any more room to add to her busy schedule.
“While it’s an honor to be considered, I am under contract with the Phoenix Mercury and the Zhejiang Golden Bulls,” Griner told espnW on Tuesday. “And I am 100 percent committed to doing all I can to bring championships to our fans.”
Brittney Griner wasn’t the only reach for the Globetrotters, who have a tradition of taking famous athletes. The team also drafted New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
Griner already has the distinction of being the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft. The 6-foot-8 center ended her NCAA career with Baylor as the NCAA’s all-time leader in blocks (for either men or women) with 748, and was the second-leading scorer in Division I women’s history with 3,283 points.
Griner even got some attention from the NBA, as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he would consider drafting her.
Cuban said: “If she is the best on the board, I will take her … I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about it already. Would I do it? Right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it.”
He added: “You never know unless you give somebody a chance, and it’s not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it.”
Brittney Griner said she appreciated the offer, but is focusing on her duties in the WNBA.