Brittany Griner, jersey, Baylor University,

Baylor University To Retire Brittney Griner’s No. 42 Jersey

Baylor will retire the jersey of women's basketball legend Brittney Griner during a Feb. 18 game against Texas Tech.

Baylor University will retire the jersey of women’s basketball legend Brittney Griner during their Feb. 18 game against Texas Tech.

Making it happen has been a priority for coach Nicki Collen, who became coach in 2021, according to the Associated Press.

Plans were delayed when Griner was detained in Russia for 11 months in 2022 before being freed in a high-profile prisoner exchange. “We’re thrilled to have Brittney back to retire her jersey,” said Collen. “I wanted to make sure this happened at the right time, and she definitely deserves the honor.”

“I’m honored to return to Baylor and celebrate where my journey started,” said Griner. “I’m grateful to Coach Nicki Collen and Baylor for this incredible moment. I look forward to being back on campus with my family to share it.”

Griner’s number 42 jersey will become the seventh women’s basketball jersey retired at Baylor, joining Odyssey Sims, Melissa Jones, Nina Davis, Suzie Snider Eppers, Shelia Lambert, and Sophia Young. The ceremony will be a long-awaited celebration of Griner’s storied career.

In her four years at Baylor, Griner amassed 748 blocks while helping the Bears go 135-15. Griner, who led the Bears to an undefeated 40-0 season and a national championship in 2012, finished her Baylor career with 3,283 points and 1,305 rebounds. She was named Associated Press Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013. Collen took the team to see Griner play for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury in June 2023, saying Baylor was working to honor her.

Griner was selected first overall in the 2013 WNBA draft by the Mercury, where she has played her entire pro career. She has also won two Olympic gold medals.

The AP noted that the basketball star had a strained relationship with former coach Kim Mulkey after leaving Baylor. Mulkey claimed graduating was a requirement for jersey retirement; Griner got her degree in 2019.