Newly minted ESPY winner Brittney Griner is one of the fastest-rising stars of the WNBA, and perhaps all of sports.
The 22-year-old center for the Phoenix Mercury has been showered with accolades since she became a college basketball star, leading Baylor University to an NCAA championship in 2012 and was the only collegiate player named to the U.S. Olympic team.
But it wasn't always easy for the 6-foot, 8-inch athlete. And not only has she towered above her peers, she doesn't look particularly feminine.
"You're a dude," a boy told her in the seventh grade, a moment Griner said she recalls as if it were yesterday.
"I just stood there and took it," she recalled. "I was humiliated. The whole school was laughing at me. I was always taller, my feet were always bigger and my voice was deeper."
By the time she graduated, already a star, Griner said she knew she could help young girls avoid some of the same pain. Before the WNBA draft in April, Griner came clean about her sexuality.
"I didn't have a real role model that I could look up to that was out openly," she said. "I knew there were a lot of younger girls that needed someone."
She went on to be the top overall draft pick, averaging 14.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots per game for the Mercury. She's become the first openly gay athlete to sign an endorsement deal with Nike.
And while people will still say nasty things, particularly online, about her being a lesbian, Griner said the insults no longer hurt as much.
"When I was younger, it really bothered me to the point where I was like 'I don't even want to be alive; why am I getting treated like that?'" Griner said. "But as I got older, I started caring less."
Better, she can look up to those who are going through the same things she did.
Griner says she gets about 10 tweets a day from young people asking how she came out to her parents or how she dealt with judgement.
"I've learned to love myself," Griner said.