Brittney Griner earns AP honor

NEW ORLEANS -- Brittney Griner has had no equal in her stellar career at Baylor. Now she's part of a very select group.

The 6-foot-8 senior star earned The Associated Press Player of the Year award for the second straight season Saturday.

Griner is just the third player to earn the award in consecutive years, joining Seimone Augustus of LSU and Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee. Connecticut's Maya Moore won it twice in a three-year span.

"Those names are pretty big; to have my name in there is an honor," Griner said.

The three-time All-American got 37 votes from the 40-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike received two votes while Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins earned the other.

Griner averaged 23.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 blocks this season. She shot 61 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line. Griner's father, godfather and brother were with her when she accepted the award. Griner said she will put it with the one she won last year.

She really appeared to be having a lot more fun on the court this season. Griner had 11 dunks, including three against Florida State in the second round of the NCAA tournament. She finished her career with 18; only six other women have ever dunked in a college game and the group had 15 combined.

Her college career ended sooner than expected, though, after Baylor lost to Louisville in the NCAA tournament regional semifinals.

Griner was the second all-time scorer in women's NCAA history, with 3,283 points. She is the top shot blocker ever, shattering both the men's and women's college marks with 748.

Her play has drawn the praise of LeBron James.

"She's dominating that sport, the women's side of the game," he said. "There's really no one that can match her right now."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.