Brittney Griner endured a nightmarish ten months in a Russian prison with the country at war with Ukraine.
The WNBA star was finally released less than three months ago.
When she returned to the United States, Griner fulfilled her promise to the Phoenix Mercury team and signed a one-year contract with them for the 2023 season.
Brittney Griner Is Back
The 32-year-old last played in 2021 for Phoenix Mercury.
She led the team to the WNBA Finals, where Chicago Sky beat them.
In the process, Griner had a standout year with impressive statistics like:
- 20.5 points per game average
- 2.7 assists per game
- 1.9 blocks per game
- 9.5 rebounds per game
- 2.4 offensive rebounds
- .846 free throw percentage
However, Griner missed the entire 2022 WNBA season because of her detention in Russia.
Now the basketball star is back, she returns to the team she went pro with.
According to ESPN, the free agent signed a one-year contract worth $165,000 with Phoenix Mercury on Saturday.
Griner’s Nightmare Year
After a year of highs in 2021, Brittney Griner had a horrific 2022.
Russian authorities suspected the basketballer of illegally possessing vape canisters containing cannabis oil.
They arrested Griner and detained her for ten months–against the wishes of the U.S. State Department, who called her detainment wrongful.
In prison, she endured 16-hour work days, homophobia, and racism.
However, Russian authorities didn’t budge, and President Joe Biden’s administration stepped in to bring Griner home and another detained American.
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The two nations finally agreed on December 8, exchanging Brittney Griner with Viktor Bout, a Russian convicted arms dealer.
Soon after her release, Griner announced her intention to play again for Phoenix Mercury.
Mercury’s season starts on May 19 against Los Angeles Sparks.
All eyes will be on Griner as she tries to lead her team to the WNBA Finals once more.