Brittney Griner shows off her photo shoot skills ahead of the WNBA’s return with the Phoenix Mercury… just two months after her release from the Russian penal colony
Brittney Griner showed off the Phoenix Mercury in a photoshoot ahead of her on-field return to the WNBA franchise.
Griner recently enjoyed her freedom, seen at the Super Bowl with wife Cherelle, a week ahead of reports of her returning to the Mercury on a one-year contract.
The deal was confirmed by Phoenix on Tuesday, making general manager Jim Pitman very proud.
“It’s a great day for all of us to announce that Brittney Griner has officially signed for the Mercury in 2023,” said Pitman.
“We missed BG every day she was gone and while basketball wasn’t our primary concern, her presence on the floor, in our locker room, around our organization and within our community was sorely missed.”
“We will continue to use our organization’s resources to support her, on and off the floor, and we are thrilled for her to return to the basketball she loves so much. This is a special signing and today is a special day for all of us.”
Brittney Griner signed a one-year contract with her former team, Phoenix, earlier this week
Griner hasn’t played for the Mercury since 2021, when she led Phoenix to the WNBA Finals before losing to the Chicago Sky. Regardless, Griner was nearly unstoppable that season, averaging 20.5 points, 1.9 blocks, 2.7 assists and career-highs with 9.5 rebounds per game
The 32-year-old has not played for the Phoenix franchise since 2021, when she led them to the WNBA Finals before losing to the Chicago Sky.
In the meantime, Griner was detained in Russia for a period of 10 months. She was released from a Russian penal colony on Dec. 8 after President Biden approved an exchange, sending convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout back to Russia.
The deal has drawn criticism from Republicans, who were angry that Biden let “The Merchant of Death” go, while also abandoning captured Marine Paul Whelan — who was arrested nearly four years ago.
Griner, who played professionally in Russia since 2014, was returning to the country in February when she was stopped at Moscow airport with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, according to authorities.
She was assigned to a penal colony in Mordovia, a region known for its brutal prison system, until the Biden administration was able to secure her release.
Finally, in August, Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in a Russian penal colony. A subsequent appeal was rejected in October.
The 6-foot-9 Griner is an eight-time U.S. All-Star and one of only 11 players to win an Olympic gold medal, FIBA World Cup gold medal, WNBA title and an NCAA title, which she captured in Baylor. in 2012.
Griner was stellar in her most previous season, averaging 20.5 points, 1.9 blocks, 2.7 assists and career-highs with 9.5 rebounds per game.
The 32-year-old was imprisoned in Russia for 10 months before being released in a prison swap