He says it’s only a matter of time before a woman plays in the NBA, and that he thinks it will happen “in our lifetime.”
“I don't know if it's Griner or if it's someone who is 5 years old right now,” Battier said. “But we'll see it. It'll happen in our lifetime. Just the law of averages.”
When asked what type of player that breakthrough athlete might be, Battier said it likely would be a quick, athletic female guard rather than a taller player such as Griner.
“Strength is the biggest issue that player would have, especially with those post players,” Battier said. “Post play is just so physical.
“Look, I'm 6-foot-8, 220 pounds and I guard [Indiana Pacers power forward] David West and [Chicago Bulls power forward] Carlos Boozer. I lift weights twice a week and I think I'm strong as a 34-year-old man. And I struggle with those guys.”
Battier recalls playing with fellow Duke alum and current Los Angeles Sparks star Alana Beard, who set a school record at Duke with 2,687 points over her career, while they went to school together. Battier graduated from Duke in 2001 after his senior year, which was Beard's freshman season.
“She could play,” Battier said. “She could handle the ball. In a pickup game scenario, she didn't stick out any worse than any of the other guys we were playing with.”
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