Brittney Griner is returning to the WNBA, signing a 1-year contract with the Phoenix Mercury … less than 3 months after being freed from a Russian jail, where she spent nearly 10 months.
32-year-old Griner last played during the 2021 WNBA season … where she lead the Mercury to the Finals. They lost to the Chicago Sky, 3 games to 1.
Many fans questioned whether Griner would return to the court after she was swapped with high-value Russian prisoner, Viktor Bout as part of her release in December 2022 … but Brittney vowed to return to the court.
“I also want to make one thing very clear, I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season,” BG wrote shortly after her release, adding she wished to thank everyone who advocated on her behalf while she was locked up.
Of course, Griner was locked up near Moscow in February 2022 after Russia claimed she was caught attempting to smuggle vape cartridges into the country. BG wasn’t unknown to Russia … she previously hooped overseas, where players can earn a more lucrative salary.
The 2023 WNBA season starts in mid-May.
The terms of the deal have not yet been announced … and neither Griner nor the organization, have issued a statement on the signing.
Griner was drafted by the Mercury with the first overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft. She led Phoenix to a WNBA title in 2014. BG is an 8x All-Star and 2x scoring champion. The 6’9″ center also led the league in blocks 8 times.