In My Skin
In My Skin by Brittney Griner
first published 2014, hardcover
Hailed by ESPN as the world's most famous female basketball player, Brittney Griner has been shattering stereotypes and breaking boundaries ever since she burst onto the national scene as a dunking high school phenom. Now, she shares her coming-of-age story, revealing how she found the strength to overcome bullies and to embrace her authentic self.
Brittney Griner, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, is a once-in-a-generation player, possessing a combination of size and athleticism never before seen in women's basketball. But the sport's "most transformative figure" (Sports Illustrated) is equally famous for making headlines off the court, for speaking out on issues of gender, sexuality, body image, and self-esteem.
At six foot eight with an eighty-eight-inch wingspan and a size 17 men's shoe, the Phoenix Mercury star and three-time All-American has heard every vicious insult in the book. Bullied for being different, she has endured years of taunting, from middle school to the present day. Through the highs and lows, Brittney has learned to remain true to herself, rising above the haters who try to take her down.
The journey has often been lonely. Feeling uncomfortable in her own skin for much of her adolescence, Brittney struggled with anger, the Achilles heel that often got her into trouble, usually with her fists. Her transformation began when she discovered basketball in high school. "The court has almost always been a safe place for me, a space where I can rejuvenate myself," she says. "It has always been the one place I feel free."
In this heartfelt memoir, Brittney reflects on painful episodes in her life, from the confrontations she dealt with as a kid, to the infamous on-court punch she threw during her freshman season at Baylor University, to the final moments of her college career and the crushing loss to Louisville that ended her dream of back-to-back national championships. Brittney also explores her complicated relationships with two people she loves and respects—her father, Ray, and her coach at Baylor, Kim Mulkey—as well as her mixed feelings about playing for a school that has a policy against homosexuality.
Here, too, are the highs: Brittney's close bonds with her mother, Sandra, and her supportive siblings and friends; her amazing accomplishments at Baylor, including the team's 74-2 record her last two seasons; her adventurous new life as a pro in the WNBA; and her distinct sense of style, exemplified by the tattoos she proudly wears. Throughout the book, Brittney describes how she came to celebrate what makes her unique—inspiring lessons she now shares with readers.
Filled with all the humor and personality that Brittney Griner has become known for, In My Skin is more than a glimpse into one of the most original people in sports; it's a powerful call to readers to be true to themselves, to love who they are on the inside and out.