What a year for the WNBA's Brittney Griner. Last year she entered the league as the overall No. 1 draft choice of the Phoenix Mercury and did not disappoint. She was the defensive player of the year in 2014 and set a record for blocked shots. She was a key cog as the Mercury won this year's WNBA title.
Off the court, Griner has been a great inspiration as an out-and-proud openly lesbian athlete. After leaving Baylor, she is totally free to be herself and this summer announced her engagement to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson. She made her announcement in a post on Instagram that made hearts flutter everywhere, saying, "Last Night was a Night to Remember. I became the happiest person on this earth! (almost pass out but when that one word came out I cameback to life) Me and my baby @missvol25 are in it for Life.":
Griner is a dominant athlete in her sport and able to do it while being 100% out. She rocks.
Female Athlete of the Year Runners-Up: Ireen Wüst, an openly bisexual speedskater from the Netherlands. She won a gold medal in the Sochi Olympics with the backdrop of the talk around Russia's anti-gay laws, and no athlete won more medals - five - at the Sochi Games than Wüst. Her win was a great statement about the abilities of LGBT athletes. And Tina Hillman, the NCAA champion in the shot put, who came out publicly as pansexual this fall after being open with her team for a while. She has opened eyes about a whole other dimension of the LGBT community..