What is Brittney Griner’s net worth and salary?
Brittney Griner is an American professional basketball player who has a net worth of $5 million. Brittney Griner’s peak annual salary was $227,000 which is the WNBA league max. Like other top WNBA players, Britney has periodically played overseas for much larger paydays. For example, in 2014 she made $600,000 to play for a Chinese team for three months. In recent years she has earned around $1.5 million playing in Russia.
Prior to joining the WNBA she was a star player at Baylor University, where she became the only NCAA basketball player to both block 500 shots and score 2,000 points. Beyond the WNBA, Griner helped lead the US women’s basketball team to victory at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
Early Life and High School
Brittney Griner was born on October 18, 1990 in Houston, Texas as the youngest of four siblings. As a teen, she went to Nimitz High School, where she lettered in basketball and played varsity volleyball as a freshman. In her senior year, Griner helped lead the Nimitz Cougars to the Texas 5A girls basketball state championship, where they ultimately fell to Mansfield Summit High School. Griner finished her senior year with 52 dunks, including a single-game record of seven dunks in a game against Aldine High School. Moreover, she set a record for most single-season blocks, with 318. In honor of her achievements, Griner was named a WBCA All-American.
In college, Griner played basketball with the Baylor Lady Bears at Baylor University. She immediately established her dominance as a freshman, setting a new single-season record of 223 blocked shots. In late 2009, she posted Baylor’s first-ever triple-double; early the following year, she became only the seventh female player to dunk during a college basketball game. Baylor went on to enter the NCAA Tournament, and defeated Tennessee to make the Sweet 16. In the subsequent win against Georgetown, Griner set a new NCAA Tournament record with 14 blocked shots. Advancing to the Elite Eight, Baylor beat Duke, and Griner upped her total tournament blocks to a new record of 35. In the Final Four, Baylor fell to eventual champion Connecticut.
As a sophomore, Griner earned First-Team All-American honors; as a junior, she was named AP Player of the Year, and helped Baylor win the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship over Notre Dame. Baylor finished the season undefeated with 40 wins, the most in the history of the NCAA. Griner played her final college game in 2013 in Baylor’s Sweet 16 loss to the University of Louisville.
In the 2013 WNBA Draft, Griner was chosen as the first overall pick by the Phoenix Mercury. She went on to have a highly impressive rookie year; in her debut alone, she matched the WNBA career dunk record set by Candace Parker, with two. Overall, Griner averaged three blocks per game. She improved her statistics in 2014, averaging 3.7 blocks per game in addition to 15.6 points and eight rebounds. In June, she set a new regular-season single-game WNBA record with 11 blocks. Most significantly, Griner helped the Mercury finish the 2014 season 29-5, breaking the record for most regular-season WNBA wins; the team subsequently swept the Chicago Sky in the WNBA Finals. Griner continued her amazing success in 2015. In the most prolific defensive season in the history of the WNBA, she averaged four blocks per game. The Mercury once again made it to the playoffs, where Griner set a new WNBA playoff record of 11 blocks. Ultimately, the team fell to the Minnesota Lynx.
In 2016, the Mercury made it back to the playoffs, this time advancing to the semifinals; once again, however, they were defeated by the Lynx. Griner had one of the best seasons of her career so far in 2017. In June, she posted a career-high 38 points in a victory over the Indiana Fever. She finished the season as the league leader in scoring with 21.9 points per game. In the playoffs, the Mercury beat the Seattle Storm and the Connecticut Sun to make it to the semifinals; there, they fell to the Los Angeles Sparks. Griner had another strong season in 2018, once again leading the league in blocks and helping the Mercury advance to the playoffs. The following season, she again led the league in blocks, and also led the league in scoring for the second time. In the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, Griner played 12 games before having to leave for personal reasons that remain undisclosed.
During the WNBA offseason, Griner usually plays abroad. In 2013-14, she played with the WCBA’s Zhejiang Golden Bulls in China; her $600,000 four-month contract with the team was 12 times the amount she made as a rookie with the Phoenix Mercury. For the subsequent 2014-15 and 2015-16 offseasons, Griner played for Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg, with which she won consecutive championships. She went on to re-sign with the team for the subsequent three offseasons.
US National Team
In 2016, Griner played as part of the US women’s basketball team at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She ultimately earned the gold medal as the team beat Spain 101-72 in the final. Five years later, Griner and the US team once again took gold at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Beyond the Olympics, Griner and the US women’s basketball team also won gold medals at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2014 and 2018.
Griner was arrested in Russia at Sheremetyevo International Airport in early 2022 when hash oil was allegedly discovered in her luggage. The substance is illegal under both Russian and US federal law. Due to Russia’s contemporaneous invasion of Ukraine and the resulting tensions with the US, many feared the difficulty of getting Griner released.
On July 7, 2022, Brittney appeared in a Russian courtroom and pleaded guilty to drug charges. She faces up to 10 years in prison.
Griner identifies as lesbian, having come out publicly in early 2013. She is committed to challenging traditional gender roles; through her endorsement deal with Nike, she regularly models clothes branded as menswear.
In 2014, Griner got engaged to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson. The following year, both of them were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and assault. Despite this, the pair got married. Shortly after their wedding, Griner and Johnson were suspended by the WNBA for seven games when both pleaded guilty to their disorderly conduct charges. In June of 2015, it was announced that Johnson was pregnant with twins. However, the very next day, Griner filed for an annulment of the marriage on account of alleged duress and fraud. The divorce was finalized in 2016. Two years after that, Griner got engaged to Cherelle Watson, whom she subsequently married in 2019.