National

Brittney Griner's No. 42 jersey retired at Baylor in emotional ceremony

Baylor retired Brittney' Griner's No. 42 jersey on Sunday in a pregame ceremony ahead of a game against Texas Tech.

Griner returned to Baylor for the ceremony at Foster Pavilion, 12 years after leading the Bears to an undefeated national championship. Griner was introduced to a rousing ovation as players and fans in the stands wore T-shirts emblazoned with her No. 42. She then joined head coach Nicki Collen at center court for the ceremony.

The program then unveiled the banner honoring Griner before lifting it into the rafters as Griner watched with her hands covering her face.

Griner wrote about what the honor means to her in a January statement when Baylor announced that it was retiring her jersey.

"I'm honored to return home to Baylor and celebrate where so much of my journey started," Griner's statement read. "I'm grateful to Coach Nickand the entire Baylor community and looking forward to the opportunity to be back on campus, spend time with the team and have my family beside me to share in this incredible moment. Sic 'Em Bears."

The 2011-12 Bears finished 40-0 and capped a wire-to-wire season as the nation's No. 1 team with an 80-61 win over Notre Dame in the NCAA championship game. Griner averaged 23.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.2 blocks en route to consensus National Player of the Year and Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors that season as a junior.

She won National Player of the Year honors again the following season before being selected first overall in the WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury. Griner remains with Mercury, with whom she's made eight All-Star teams and won a WNBA championship.

Griner's is the seventh jersey to be retired by Baylor.