But Griner was a quick study. That summer she got a healthy dose of fundamentals from the coaching staff at the Houston Hotshots AAU team and began her quest to learn how to dunk. She practiced on the goal in her driveway, and she worked with Nimitz's boys' team after her own practices. She bruised her wrists regularly and fell often. "It took me a long while," she says, "but then I got it."
Her first official dunk came in a game right before Christmas of her junior year. "Her teammates were so excited I had to call a timeout," says Jackson, who estimates that Griner had about 35 dunks in her senior year, to go along with averages of 27.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 8.2 blocks a game.
Griner has half a dozen dunk moves in her repertoire now, including a two-handed 360, and she says a windmill is "in development." But she doesn't believe her unique dimensions or skill set make her a revolutionary figure. "I don't think I'm changing the game; I'm adding on," she says. "I expect somebody else to come through and do something I couldn't do."
Remarkably, there was no recruiting war over the player Summit says will end up "one of the best inside players ever." After her sophomore year at Nimitz, Griner attended a camp at Baylor and made an oral commitment on the spot. "I loved the family feeling," she says. Ray liked Mulkey because "she is like me, very strict and intense." It didn't hurt that Mulkey—who won the '82 NCAA title as a Louisiana Tech player, the '88 title as a Lady Techsters assistant and the 2005 title as Baylor's coach—is an established winner.
Her Lady Bears lost four starters from last year's Sweet 16 team but reeled in the nation's No. 1 recruiting class and welcomed back veteran guards Kelli Griffin and Jones, as well as senior forward Morghan Medlock. "Baylor is a lot more than Brittney Griner," says Blair.
But he is not ready to hand the Lady Bears the next four Big 12 titles. "When Courtney Paris [arrived], everybody said, 'She's going to dominate everything,'" Blair says. "Well, we won five of [our next] nine matchups with Oklahoma. We're going to [have to] figure out how to attack or how to be attacked."
As other coaches brood over ways to stop her, Griner dreams of making her team unstoppable. She has already made Mulkey a promise should the Lady Bears cut down the nets while she's there. "She told me we won't need a ladder," says Mulkey, "because she'll lift me up herself."