Phoenix Mercury confirms the return of Brittney Griner to the WNBA | Brittney Griner End-shutdown

Brittney Griner will return to the WNBA this season, once again playing with the Phoenix Mercury. Griner, who was a free agent, re-signed with the team on Tuesday.

Griner, 32, had said he would return to Phoenix in a social media post in December after returning home from his 10-month detention in Russia. Griner was arrested on drug possession charges a year ago and was brought home in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange in December.

“We miss BG every day that he was away, and while basketball was not our primary concern, we greatly miss his presence on the court, in our locker room, around our organization and within our community,” said Jim Pitman, general manager. Mercury. “We will continue to use the resources of our organization to support her, on and off the court, and we are thrilled for her that she is able to return to the basketball she loves so much. This is a special signing and today is a special day for all of us.”

The 6-foot-9 center last played for the Mercury in 2021 and helped the team reach the WNBA Finals. She averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds that season.

Griner, who was drafted No. 1 in 2013 by Mercury, with whom she won the WNBA title in 2014. ESPN reports that the one-year contract is worth $165,100.

Since returning home from Russia, Griner has been out of the public spotlight, with the exception of appearances at the Super Bowl, the Phoenix Open and an MLK Day event in Phoenix, where he lives.

“I don’t think any of us forget where we were on December 8 when we heard BG was coming home, or on December 15 when he announced that he intended to not only play basketball in 2023, but it would be for the Mercury.” said Mercury’s president of business operations, Vince Kozar.

“And I know none of us will forget what it’s like to welcome you back to your floor on May 21. To know BG is to love and appreciate BG, and we can’t wait to show it to you in person with thousands upon thousands of your biggest fans. exactly three months from today at our welcome home opening.”

Griner skipped a USA Basketball training camp earlier this month, but the organization made it clear that he could take as much time as he needed to decide if he wanted to restart his career with Team USA, with whom he won two gold medals at the Olympics.

skip previous newsletter promotion

The WNBA has said it will address obtaining special travel accommodations for Griner, such as charter flights, after she signs.

“We are very aware of BG’s unique situation,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said earlier this month. “We have been planning and we have been thinking about it with security experts, on the BG side, on our side. We’ll find the right time to discuss it when I sign with a team.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *