Brittney Griner returns to motion for first time since being launched from detention in Russia | NBA Information


Brittney Griner has performed with Phoenix Mercury for the primary time since 2021, returning to motion in a preseason sport after almost 10 months of detention in Russia.

The 2-time Olympic gold medallist was launched from a Russian jail in a high-profile prisoner alternate with the USA late final 12 months after she was arrested in February 2022 on drug prices for possessing hashish oil.

Griner pleaded responsible to the costs and was sentenced to 9 years in jail.

“I did not assume I’d be sitting right here. I did not assume I’d be enjoying basketball this shortly,” Griner advised reporters after Mercury’s 90-71 loss to Los Angeles Sparks on Friday night time.

“I did not know the way it was going to go, getting again into it. Grateful to be right here, that is for positive.”

Griner was greeted to roars of celebration at Phoenix’s Footprint Heart as she exited the tunnel and strode onto the court docket.

Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury (Associated Press)
Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medallist

The eight-time All-Star acquired on the board within the first minute with a two-point shot, and had 10 factors with three rebounds throughout 17 minutes.

“I did not really feel like I used to be gassed or dying. [I’m] knocking off these cobwebs, eliminating the unhealthy habits.”

The 2-time WNBA scoring champion has been topic to monumental media curiosity since her return to the USA, utilizing her super-sized platform to champion the reason for different People detained overseas.

The 32-year-old, who’s engaged on a memoir about her arrest and imprisonment, mentioned the season forward additionally provided a chance to concentrate on the sport once more.

“It feels good, you positively really feel appreciated,” mentioned Griner. “However I can not look ahead to the day the place it is form of like simply basketball.”

Mercury open their common season on the street in Los Angeles in opposition to Sparks on Could 19.


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