PHOENIX - Brittney Griner can dunk.

Not only on breakaways and not those squeeze-it-over-the-rim ones that just don't look right.

One-handed, two-handed, on the move, off a drop step, even on alley-oops, though she hasn't pulled that one off in a game - at least not yet.

Emphatic, too, unlike any woman before her.

Griner's dunking dexterity has made her a celebrity, a regular on the sports-highlight shows, and a recognizable name even to casual sports fans.

But she is far from a dunking novelty act.

Long, athletic, dominating defensively, offensively gifted, ferocious rebounder, gregarious, and honest, the Phoenix Mercury center has the kind of star power that may reach well beyond her 7-foot-4 wingspan.

"Even if people don't know her or know about her game, they've heard about the girl that can dunk," said Minnesota Lynx guard/forward Seimone Augustus, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 WNBA draft. "So they're going to want to see what she can do on this level."

Griner was the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, the top peg on a top-loaded board that also included stars-in-the-making Elena Delle Donne, of Delaware, and Skylar Diggins.

Delle Donne figures to help Chicago reach the playoffs after the Sky just missed last season, and the Tulsa Shock are hoping Diggins will team with Candice Wiggins to create an unstoppably-quick backcourt.

The WNBA season begins Friday night.