PHOENIX - The Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Pride, the non-profit organization that stages Phoenix's annual gay pride parade and festival, have announced that Mercury center Brittney Griner has been selected as the grand marshal of the 2014 Phoenix Pride Parade. 2014 Phoenix Pride is April 5-6; the parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 5, and runs north on 3rd Street from Thomas Road to Indian School Road.
"Phoenix is my adopted home and I'm so honored by the way the fans and the community have embraced me, not only as an athlete but as a person," Griner said. "I look forward to attending my first Phoenix Pride, participating in the parade, and meeting more inspiring, proud Phoenicians who care as much as I do about equality and ending the bullying of our youth."
Griner, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 WNBA Draft, was voted a 2013 WNBA All-Star starter as a rookie for a season in which she averaged 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and a WNBA-best 3.00 blocks. Griner not only set a franchise record for blocks but became just the second player in league history to average 3.00 blocks or more in a single season, the first in 13 seasons. Beyond basketball, according to Griner, her mission is to end bullying and help others reach their fullest potential by living an honest life, comfortable in their own skin.
In the organization's announcement, Phoenix Pride Executive Director Justin Owen said, "Brittney Griner is a true inspiration to the LGBTQ community. She inspires us all by thriving as an openly gay professional athlete and role model for our younger generations. Off the court, she advocates aggressively for a more inclusive society and works with many anti-bullying campaigns for today's youth."
Griner and the Phoenix Mercury, presented by Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort, open the 2014 WNBA season on Saturday, May 17, hosting the rival Seattle Storm at US Airways Center. And, don't forget, this summer the Mercury and US Airways Center host Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 on July 19. Season tickets, ticket packs, All-Star ticket packs, and single-game tickets are available now on phoenixmercury.com.