Griffin Featured in Sports Illustrated

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

Jan. 22, 2009

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma men's basketball sophomore forward Blake Griffin is the subject of a Sports Illustrated feature in this week's magazine.  The issue is available at newsstands now.

Writer Kelli Anderson, who was in Norman in mid-December, penned the feature which is titled, "Post Impressionist."  In the four-page feature, Anderson highlights Griffin's ability to have fun off the court while dominating play on it.

The story begins...

Blake Griffin is hearing voices. At least he's trying to. As a December wind howls outside, the sophomore power forward sits in a folding chair at the edge of Oklahoma's practice floor, squinting in concentration, trying to conjure villainy. After a moment, his voice changes from his usual low conversational murmur, and he is suddenly the Joker in the movie The Dark Knight. "Do you want to know how I got my scars?" he asks menacingly. "My father was a drinker, and a fiend." You can practically see the smeared red-and-white clown makeup on the late Heath Ledger's face, and the knife glinting in his hand.
 
The next moment it's summer in Beijing, and as Griffin does Michael Phelps marveling over his new-found popularity--"I got on Facebook and I had, like, 4,000 friend requests and I was like, Wow, that's really crazy!"--you could swear you had just caught a whiff of chlorine.

Griffin's repertoire includes his teammates and coaches too. When he's not borrowing their voices, he's borrowing their stuff. He delights in relocating the contents of a locker and then sitting back to see how long it takes his victim to notice. "One day I saw him wearing this hat and I said, 'Hey, I have a hat just like that!' "recalls freshman guard Willie Warren. "Of course, it was my hat he was wearing."

Griffin's older brother, Taylor, a senior forward for the Sooners, says two words sum up his sibling: aggressive and goofy. It's not a combination seen at the top of the NBA draft board very often, but it's likely to be this June, because Griffin, a 6' 10", 250-pound banger, can do impressions of well-known people on the court too. One Eastern Conference scout, who calls Griffin "the best player in the draft," says that he has "the quickness of Amaré Stoudemire and the strength of Carlos Boozer."

Rest of Story at SI.com |  PDF of Griffin Story Spread | OU Men's Hoops Tickets 

Griffin, who leads the nation in double-doubles (15) and rebounds per game (13.6), has the Sooners ranked No. 5 nationally at 18-1 overall and 4-0 in the Big 12.  He set a single-season conference record Wednesday against Nebraska by registering his eighth game of at least 20 points and 15 rebounds (he finished with 27 and 18).

Griffin also averages a Big 12-high 22.3 points per outing and ranks in the top 10 nationally ith his .635 field goal percentage.

Oklahoma hosts Baylor, ranked No. 23 in the coaches' poll, on Saturday at 3 p.m. CST.

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