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FutureStarrWNBA Star #BrittneyGriner Looks Happy To Be Back On The Court With The Phoenix Mercury
After serving nearly a year in prison in Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner appears delighted to be back playing basketball for her hometown team, the Phoenix Mercury. On Tuesday afternoon, they posted three photos of the two-time Olympic gold medalist practicing on their court.
In December, 32-year-old center was freed from a Russian penal colony in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout. She plans to return to the WNBA this season.
Brittney Griner is beaming with joy as she gears up to return to the court with the Phoenix Mercury. After recently re-signing with the team, which was announced on Tuesday by Phoenix Mercury management, Brittney Griner appears ready for another successful season on court.
This is her first appearance back on WNBA court since her 10-month detainment in Russia. She was arrested on February 20, 2022 for bringing cannabis-derived oil cartridges into Russia and ultimately found guilty and sentenced to nine years in a penal colony.
Her release has been a long process, and she's not the only one advocating for her return to America. Many other athletes and celebrities have joined in calling on her to return home.
On December 8th, President Joe Biden tweeted that Griner would be returning home. His statement came shortly after a State Department official reported the athlete was on board a plane bound for Houston, Texas.
She has been released after being exchanged between US and Russian prisoner swaps with convicted arms dealer Victor Bout. Her return is a victory for the United States and will provide much-needed encouragement to the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
The Mercury are averaging an impressive 71.7 points per game this season and could be favorites to win the WNBA title if their players stay healthy. Griner, a seven-time All-Star and WNBA's all-time leading scorer, has been instrumental in their recent successes.
Griner, who led the Mercury to the 2021 WNBA Finals before falling to Chicago Sky, has averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds during her time with Phoenix. Furthermore, she set a franchise record with 1.9 blocks per game during that stretch in Phoenix.
Insider reported that Griner took a 32 percent pay cut to rejoin her teammates. Her verified Instagram account had previously indicated she planned on returning this season, and now it appears she's back playing basketball!
This week, The Mercury shared several photos of Griner on their social media accounts, showing her in her jersey and short hair smiling as she prepares to shoot a shot. Griner exudes confidence and strength as she poses for photos; hopefully her return will help the Mercury win their first WNBA title in Phoenix!
One year after being detained in Russia and released through a prisoner exchange, WNBA star Brittney Griner is back practicing with her Phoenix Mercury teammates. She appears confident and contented to be back playing, which bodes well for the team's chances of success this season.
Griner's return to the court is essential for the Mercury, as she can help them win a WNBA title. Last season, Phoenix Mercury lost to Chicago Sky in the WNBA Finals; Griner hopes to make up for that loss with her play this season.
She's an exceptional player and can help the Mercury return to the top of the league. As the first pick in 2013, she has been an integral part of their success ever since.
She is renowned for her athleticism and tenacity on the court. Additionally, she serves as an inspirational leader who sets an inspiring example of how to overcome hardship.
At the age of 17, basketball helped her combat anxiety and depression, giving her confidence. She used her size and tenacity to push past any doubters in her life - which has ultimately been the key to her success.
Even before she turned pro, she set the bar high for women's sports. She refused to participate in a makeup application session for rookies and defied gender norms by wearing a white tuxedo in her college graduation photos.
For the WNBA, those were landmark moments; they demonstrated that women could be more than just pretty faces on court. As one of the first professional sports leagues to support equal pay for women and host an annual Pride Game, these were groundbreaking moments.
After her time in prison, it will be fascinating to see how she adjusts to the WNBA and plays during this coming season. Hopefully she can get on court and start leading her team again, showing fans all of her potential on the court.
Brittney Griner is beaming with joy as she returns to the court with her team, the Phoenix Mercury. According to Her Hoop Stats, Brittney re-signed with the team on Tuesday after a one-year free agency stint.
In 2021, she helped the Phoenix Mercury reach the WNBA Finals by averaging 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists over 30 games. Additionally, she set a franchise record with 16 double-doubles.
She looked strong, content and assured on the court as her teammates and fans celebrated her return to playing after spending nearly ten months in a Russian prison.
But her return to the game is more than just about reclaiming her place in the spotlight. It also marks the conclusion of an extended and difficult ordeal that involved intense high-level negotiations between the United States and Russia to secure her release.
After months of tumultuous negotiations and the Biden administration's rare public admission that it had made a "substantial proposal" to get her home, she was finally freed in December in exchange for notorious international arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Her 10-month detention in Russia came to a close after airport security personnel discovered cannabis-derived oil cartridges in her luggage, which she claimed were left behind when she traveled for a WNBA offseason tournament in February 2022.
Due to her detention, she spent months in a caged cell at the Moscow penal colony. She sat in her cell most days and was only allowed to stand when given permission by the judge.
On her first trial, during which she was sentenced to nine years in prison for drug charges, Mercy was not shown her way; yet it came in the end when she was freed and returned home to her family.
Her return to the court is a significant moment for the WNBA, marking an important step forward in their efforts to promote equality and inclusivity. Beyond gender parity and sexual orientation, they hope to increase diversity on their rosters and in their locker rooms.
One year after Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia and one week after her release, the 32-year-old WNBA star is back with her teammates on the Phoenix Mercury court. As Griner looked radiant as she took to practice Tuesday morning, eager to begin another season with them.
The Mercury selected Griner with the first pick in 2013, and she has become one of the greatest players in WNBA history. An eight-time All-Star and two-time scoring leader, she has earned numerous awards throughout her career. Additionally, in 2014 she was named Defensive Player of the Year by WNBA fans; additionally she is one of 11 women to have won an Olympic, World Cup, WNBA or NCAA title.
Just days after signing a one-year deal with the Mercury, Griner is thrilled to be back on the court. Her return was documented via photos posted to Instagram by the team's account, showing Griner smiling during a workout session.
After being out of the spotlight for a year, Griner is back on court in her own way and has even promised to use her platform to help bring back American citizens who have been held captive overseas - such as former US Marine Paul Whelan who was imprisoned in Russia in December 2018.
At her return to the court, she announced that she would be focusing on her career and eventually returning to playing for the Mercury. Additionally, she declared her platform would be used to bring Whelan and other Americans detained in Russia home safely.
Griner is an active member of the LGBTQ+ community and an outspoken advocate for their rights. She's proud to be American as well, being born to her parents Sandra and Raymond as one of four children.
She achieved fame during her college days at Baylor University, earning the Naismith, Wooden and AP college basketball awards. Additionally, she set a record for blocked shots and earned herself an All-American designation.