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WNBA’s Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins Dealt with Bullies

Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner

Before they were college basketball stars and the future of the WNBA, Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne had something else in common: They were all bullied when they were kids.
The top three picks in the WNBA draft talked to The Associated Press about a variety of topics, including how standing out in a crowd wasn’t always easy.

“It was hard. Just being picked on for being different. Just being bigger, my sexuality, everything,” said the 6-foot-8 Griner, who acknowledged she is a lesbian. “I overcame it and got over it. Definitely something that I am very passionate about. I want to work with kids and bring recognition to the problem, especially with the LGBT community.”

Delle Donne, who is 6-5, said she was also picked on when she was younger. Not just for her size, but also because of her older sister Lizzie, who is deaf, blind and has cerebral palsy.

“Being way taller than the other girls, they’d make fun of me,” Delle Donne said. “Issues with my sister that you wouldn’t believe. People saying she looked like a monster. It was so hurtful.”
Diggins said girls are cruel and would make fun of her for “whatever it was that day.”

The Notre Dame star, who stands at a more pedestrian 5-foot-9, said she used to want to go back at those people who would verbally attack her, but really learned a lot from the way Griner has dealt with the negativity surrounding her.

“I don’t think anyone has handled it better than Brittney,” Diggins said. “It’s great to see how she handles herself in this situation. People are cruel. She handles every situation with such class and it’s inspiring and she’s taught me some things about when people say bad things. She’s a poster child for how to handle criticism.”

Delle Donne remembers first meeting Griner at an All-America ceremony.

“We were all sitting there and no one was talking to each other and then Brittney comes bounding in and broke the ice with everyone just being herself.”

The trio have become friends over the course of the season, tweeting and texting to each other.

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