Former Baylor University center Brittney Griner celebrating her team's 2012 championship victory over Notre Dame. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images Sport None:
Mon, May 20, 2013 4:38 PM EDT

Brittney Griner, the former college basketball star who now plays for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, revealed in a new interview with ESPN that her head coach asked her not to come out publicly during her college playing career. Griner played for Baylor University, a private Baptist university in Waco, Texas.

"It was a recruiting thing," Griner said during the interview with ESPN The Magazine and espnW. "The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn't let their kids come play for Baylor."

ESPN The Magazine and espnW reports:

In a series of interviews -- including one on camera Friday -- for an ESPN The Magazine and story set to hit newsstands later this month, Griner said her silence during college was because Mulkey and her staff were concerned about the program's image.

"It was more of a unwritten law [to not discuss your sexuality] ... it was just kind of, like, one of those things, you know, just don't do it," Griner said Friday. "They kind of tried to make it, like, 'Why put your business out on the street like that?'"

But Griner reiterated on Friday that her sexuality was an open secret at Baylor.

"I told Coach [Mulkey] when she was recruiting me. I was like, 'I'm gay. I hope that's not a problem,' and she told me that it wasn't," Griner said. "I mean, my teammates knew, obviously they all knew. Everybody knew about it."