SBD/April 16, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

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  • Brittney Griner "Unfazed" During WNBA Draft As She Is Set To Become Face Of The League

    Griner was selected first in last night's WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury

    WNBA Commissioner Laurel Richie said the introduction of Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins will "change the landscape of the league," according to Scott Gleeson of USA TODAY. The WNBA Draft last night was "promoted as a three-star ascension," with the players headlining the '13 draft class. Former WNBAer Sheryl Swoopes said, "I think what Brittney Griner alone can bring has never been done in women's sports." Griner, despite expectations, "wasn't fazed by the spotlight on draft day." However, compared to her on-court accomplishments, "transforming the women's professional game won't be as easy." The challenge for Griner and the WNBA "will be drawing an audience." Following record-low attendance last season, the WNBA has made Griner the "focal point of a new era," highlighted by a new logo and $12M ESPN TV deal. Meanwhile, Griner's agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas "confirmed" that Griner "signed a deal with Nike." Griner said of the deal, "It's big-time, let's just say that" (USA TODAY, 4/16). ESPN's Kevin Negandhi said Griner, Delle Donne and Diggins “will be forever linked on their next journey as professionals.” ESPN’s Rebecca Lobo: “All eyes have been on these three players all season long, they’ve been our '3 to See,' and now people are excited to see how their game translates to the WNBA” ("WNBA Draft," ESPN2, 4/15). 

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