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TOTALLY RANDOM

Basketball player knows her stuff inside and out

Brittney Griner of Aldine Nimitz High in Houston has dunked more than 50 times this season, with variety and flair.

March 09, 2009|Mike Penner

From rarity to regularity -- that's what Brittney Griner has done with the concept of dunking a basketball in a girls' basketball game.

Griner, a 6-foot-8 senior at Aldine Nimitz High in Houston, has dunked more than 50 times this season, according to the Associated Press. And her dunks are not the just-above-the-rim, push-the-ball-into-the-basket exercises showcased as highlights on "SportsCenter."

They are rim-rattlers, creating such a ruckus that Griner is regarded as the nation's best girls' basketball player by Rivals.com and ESPN's HoopGurlz.

"I've been doing this a long time . . . but I've never seen anything like Brittney Griner," said Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey, who successfully recruited Griner.

Hall of Fame coach Jody Conradt, who retired from Texas with 900 victories, said Griner can dunk "better and differently than anybody I've seen in the women's game. It's effortless for her."

Griner, who didn't play organized basketball until she was in the ninth grade, said that the thrill of dunking can become addictive.

"It was overwhelming, obviously, the first time I did it," she said, "and I just wanted to do it more and more."

Trivia time

Who was the first player to dunk in an NCAA women's basketball game?

Sounds reasonable

From David Letterman's top 10 reasons to watch the World Baseball Classic, as read by members of Team USA:

Roy Oswalt: "It's fascinating seeing how players from other countries scratch themselves."

Adam Dunn: "You'll be part of a cherished baseball tradition dating all the way back to 2006."

Ryan Braun: "Because of the metric system, the games will be 6.83 innings."

Derek Jeter: "What else are you going to watch, hockey?"

On the other hand

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald finds at least one thing the World Baseball Classic has in common with the Pro Bowl, calling it "one of those things you're honored to be in but would rather didn't exist."

Speaking of Patriotism

Chris Ferrell of the San Antonio Express-News poses this multiple-choice quiz: "Highlights from the recent wedding between New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bundchen included: a) The bride's beautiful dress designed by Dolce & Gabbana; b) A touching toast by Brady's best man; c) Bill Belichick giving away Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel."

Trivia answer

Georgeann Wells of West Virginia in 1984.

And finally

Fired Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, on covering the scouting combine for NFL Network: "We tried to replace Warren Sapp with first-round draft choices and free agents, and now I'm sitting here with Warren Sapp."

--

mike.penner@latimes.com

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