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    In My Skin: Learning to Let Go, Hold On, and Be Me

    By: Brittney Griner

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    Basketball player Brittney Griner, called "the sport's most transformative figure" (Sports Illustrated), is by all accounts poised to be a game-changer in much the same way the Williams sisters were in their sport. Recently selected as the #1 draft pick in the WNBA, and holding the record for top shot-blocker ever (in both the men and women's game), the dunk-happy Griner is said to have fundamentally changed college basketball more than any other player in history (even Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul-Jabar). Now in her first pro season with the Phoenix Mercury, she is the biggest thing ever to hit the WNBA. But Griner is equally famous for making headlines off the court, as she did when she publicly acknowledged she's gay in an S.I. interview in April, and for the national dialogue she has engendered on issues of femininity, body image, and more. What has drawn fans and followers to Brittney is how she is true to herself. At 6'8", with a size 17 shoe (men's), she has often found herself on the receiving end of harsh words and labels that are not applied in the same way to men (when Shaq burst on the scene in the 90s, for example, he was also called a "freak of nature" but it was considered a compliment). Now, in her publishing debut, Griner draws from all the difficult times she was made fun of or made to feel different, and recounts how she learned to embrace what makes her unique - and in the process inspires others to do the same.

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