Baylor’s Brittney Griner leads AP All-America team

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Brittney Griner has been in a class by herself all season. Now she’s part of a select group.

Baylor’s 6-foot-8 star senior was a unanimous selection to The Associated Press’ All-America team Tuesday.

Griner became the fifth three-time AP All-American, joining Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw, Duke’s Alana Beard, Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris and Connecticut’s Maya Moore. Paris and Moore were the only two to earn the honor all four years.

“That’s pretty special company,” Griner said.

She was joined on the squad by Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike, Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne and Baylor teammate Odyssey Sims.

With Sims and Griner, it marked the sixth time that teammates were first team All-Americans. Connecticut has done it four times and Tennessee once.

“I think they’re two of the best, period,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said.

It’s hard to argue. Griner was unstoppable nearly all season, averaging 23.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.2 blocks. She also had 11 dunks, including three in one game against Florida State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Griner and Diggins received 200 points and were unanimous choices by the 40-member national media panel that votes in the weekly Top 25. It’s the sixth straight season that there has been at least one unanimous choice. Voting was done before the NCAA tournament.

Diggins has had an unbelievable season herself, guiding Notre Dame to its first Big East tournament title and a second straight conference regular-season championship. She’s averaged 17 points, 5.9 assists and 3.1 steals and became the school’s all-time scoring leader.

“This means a lot to me,” said Diggins, who also was an All-America last season. “I was fortunate enough to have a school like Notre Dame in my backyard, and this is an honor that I share with all my coaches and teammates.”

Diggins joins Ruth Riley as the only Irish players to earn first-team All-America honors in consecutive seasons. Riley did it in 2000 and 2001.

The senior guard said she would love to have the All-America team on the floor.

“This would be a coach’s dream team. I’d have a field day with this team,” Diggins said. “We wouldn’t lose.”

Ogwumike guided Stanford to its seventh straight conference tournament championship before the Cardinal lost in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament to Georgia. That ended a streak of five straight trips to the Final Four for the team.

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