How basketball transformed Brittney Elena’s life

The social media influencer is grateful for everything

Brittney Elena has become one of the more recognizable faces in the world of basketball. No, she doesn’t play in the WNBA and she hasn’t coached on the professional level, but she became an influencer in the sport by simply posting her intimate moments of shooting around in the gym to let off steam. Now, nearly 850,000 Instagram followers later, Elena is a mainstay in the community thanks to her unique path.

Recently, after watching Brittney Griner‘s first game in the WNBA after being jailed in Russia for most of 2022, Elena spoke to rolling out about the Phoenix Mercury star’s return and her own perspective on the sport that’s changed her life.

What was it like to see Brittney Griner back on the court?

The moment I stepped foot into this arena, I felt chills. One, just seeing the crowd for a [Los Angeles Sparks] home opener. Last year when I was here, [there weren’t] that many people, so seeing the arena filled up meant something to me.

Seeing [Griner] on that court gave me chills, knowing what she’s been through and where she’s been at, and seeing her back here, it was amazing. I was not going to miss this game for the world. I made sure I was going to be here to experience this home opener for the Sparks, just one, but then to [see Griner] be able to be back in this element and being able to play. What she went through mentally is really tough. To be able to get back on that court, it wasn’t even a couple of days after getting off of a plane [back in America]. She knew what she wanted to do in her journey and what she needed to get done. Seeing her here to do that was amazing.

What does basketball mean to you?

What basketball means to me, it’s not really just on the court. I’ve met so many people on and off the court because of basketball.

I’m here where I am now because of basketball. I’ve never even thought about that I moved to L.A. for acting and modeling. My insomnia would have me in the gym, just hoping that’s my therapy, and posting that on social media organically. That was what got me to where I am now. And that’s what I love about the game is that it connects so many individuals [through] our love. It doesn’t matter about having the type of expertise or even the skill level. If you know the game, if you love it, you can connect in so many different ways. That’s why I feel like you don’t have to always be an actual player on the court, you can do so much on and off the court. I just love it, and I’m thankful for it because I’m doing so many great things because of it and I’ve met so many great people as well.

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