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Griner Poses Practice Problems for Opponents

New York Times

As McNeese State of Louisiana prepared to face top-ranked Baylor and its 6-foot-8 center, Brittney Griner, in December, the Cowgirls had no way to simulate Griner’s height and reach on a basketball court. So their coach took a kayak paddle to practice.

“We duct-taped a pad around the paddle to swat shots,” Coach Brooks Donald-Williams said.

Never has a collegiate women’s player possessed the combination of Griner’s size, mobility, soft shooting touch, effortless dunking and elegant obstructiveness, which allows her to block shots while hardly ever drifting into foul trouble.

As men’s teams did in the 1960s for U.C.L.A. and the 7-footer Lew Alcindor, who later became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, women’s teams have resorted to exotic preparation and...

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