Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner today was awarded the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm for the month of June as a result of her efforts to support the homeless and LGBTQ communities in Phoenix.
As the award’s winner, Griner determines the recipient of a $5,000 donation from State Farm, and she has selected One-N-Ten, a Phoenix organization serving LGBT youth, many of whom are homeless, whose youth center was recently a victim of arson. Griner will receive the award in a pregame ceremony on Sunday at Talking Stick Resort Arena, and will subsequently present the check to One-N-Ten Executive Director Linda Elliott.
“I have volunteered at One-N-Ten, I have spoken to their youth and staff at Phoenix PRIDE, and it is an organization I believe in,” Griner said. “I can’t believe someone would take away a safe-space for kids by doing something so violent, but I hope this donation helps a little in their recovery. I’m proud to be a part of the Phoenix community and give back to a place that has given me so much.”
Griner earns the league award after partnering with the Phoenix Rescue Mission for a second-straight year to collect and donate shoes to the homeless as part of her second annual “BG’s Heart & Sole Shoe Drive.” After collecting more than 500 shoes in 2016, fans and teammates donated over 650 new and gently-used shoes to this year’s drive. Griner personally joined Phoenix Rescue Mission in delivering the shoes to homeless across the Valley, as well as providing care packages of socks and water.
An outspoken member of and advocate for the LGBTQ community, Griner has continued to be active in Phoenix. The former grand marshal of the Phoenix PRIDE parade, Griner held various meet-and-greets in the community and was active in the team’s activation of its annual Pride Night brought to you by Coors Light on June 16, which saw over 10,000 fans in attendance.
History has been made! Diana Taurasi is the new all-time leading scorer in WNBA history as she attempts to lead the Mercury to a WNBA-record tying fourth championship. Tickets for the next Mercury home game on Sunday, July 30, and the remaining four regular-season Mercury home games, can be purchased by calling 602.252.WNBA or by visiting PhoenixMercury.com.