Brittney Griner Worked on Her Skyhook With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

by May 16, 2013

She may never make it to the NBA, but training with one of the League’s greatest players is not a bad consolation prize. Brittney Griner learned the art of the hook from the master, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Per the AP: “After getting a crash course in professional basketball from some of the WNBA’s best players over the past week, Griner was given the lesson of a lifetime on Wednesday with a one-on-one session on the skyhook with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. One of the NBA’s greatest players teaching the nuances of perhaps the most unstoppable move in any sport? Yeah, that’s pretty cool. ‘I went to legend school today and it was awesome,’ Griner said at the Phoenix Mercury’s practice court inside the US Airways Center. Griner had gone through a rapid learning curve during her first week of training camp, getting a firsthand look at how physical the WNBA really is while being taught things like the pick-and-roll and how to avoid being called for illegal defense. The intensity ratcheted up when Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor, DeWanna Bonner and Candice Dupree, some of the best players in the WNBA, joined the team after playing overseas. Wednesday’s session was something different entirely. […] ‘I was star struck right there,’ Griner said. ‘You know it when I don’t talk; I like to talk and you know I’m star struck when I’m just listening. I hit you with the yes sir, yes ma’am, I’m definitely star struck.’ The tutorial was put together by Mercury Vice President Ann Meyers Drysdale, who asked the NBA office to see if Abdul-Jabbar would be available to address the team and work with Griner. He accepted and spent Wednesday’s practice watching from a perch above the court with his oversized feet — though a size smaller than Griner’s men’s 17 — poking through the rail. Once practice ended, Abdul-Jabbar walked down to the floor and addressed the team before taking questions from the players and coaches. After a group photo, he peeled off his sweat jacket, took off his blue UCLA hat and met Griner under one of the baskets. […] ‘She’s a very talented athlete,’ Abdul-Jabbar said. ‘She’s not just tall, she has some skills. She runs the court very well, she’s active. I think she’s going to have a great career.'”