Brittney Griner is making good on her promise to continue playing in the WNBA by re-signing with the team that drafted her No. 1 in the 2013 draft.
The star free agent agreed to the terms of a one-year deal with the Phoenix Mercury, according to a Her Hoop Stats report. The last time Griner was on the court for the Mercury, the team advanced to the 2021 WNBA Finals.
Griner is now set to return for its tenth season after being held for 10 months in a Russian prison.
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Griner turned in one of his best performances in 2021. He finished the season with a career-high 9.5 rebounds per game and averaged 20.5 points and 2.7 assists per game.
He also averaged 2.4 offensive rebounds on the year.
BRITTNEY GRINER MAKES SECOND PUBLIC APPEARANCE SINCE RELEASE FROM RUSSIAN PRISON AT WM PHOENIX OPEN
The 32-year-old did not play for the Mercury in the 2022 season due to her layoff.
Griner traveled to Russia during the WNBA offseason to play professional basketball. She was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport last February after Russian authorities discovered that she had vape canisters filled with cannabis oil in her luggage.
Following the arrest, the US State Department declared Griner «wrongfully detained.»
After months of tense negotiations, Griner was released from a Russian penal colony in early December in a prisoner exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
President Biden tweeted about Griner’s release, writing: «I spoke to Brittney Griner a few moments ago. She’s safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way home.»
Just over a week after its release, Griner took to Instagram to announce his intention to play for the Mercury next season.
«I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to saying ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon. «, he captioned the December 16 post.
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The Mercury are scheduled to play the Sparks in the season opener on May 19. Griner is a seven-time WNBA All-Star and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.