If Mark Cuban has his way, Baylor University women’s basketball star Brittney Griner may become the first woman to play in the NBA.
In an interview before Tuesday night’s game between his Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers, team owner Mark Cuban told reporters that if Griner was the best player available, “I will take her,” Associated Press reports.
Griner certainly has the resume to back up Cuban’s endorsement. The 6-foot-8-inch senior is the NCAA all-time leader in blocked shots, as well as the second-leading scorer in the history of women’s college basketball.
Cuban, who never shies away from making a bold declaration, seems genuinely intrigued by the prospect of acquiring Griner, AP reports. “Right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it,” Cuban said. “You never know unless you give somebody a chance.”
While Cuban stressed that Griner would have to earn a spot on the Mavericks’ roster, he told reporters that he isn’t “opposed to giving her the opportunity.”
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Ever the savvy businessman, Cuban added that the potential drafting of Griner would "sell out a few games," AP reports.
The dominant Baylor star has already embraced the idea. After hearing about Cuban’s comments last night, she tweeted “I would hold my own! Lets do it.”
If Griner did manage to earn a spot on the Mavericks’ (or any other team’s) roster, she would become the first women’s basketball player to play in the NBA. Ann Meyers Drysdale, a former UCLA and U.S. Olympic team star, signed a contract with the Indiana Pacers in 1979, but didn’t make the roster.