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Brittney Griner Makes Decision on WNBA Career Following Prison Release

Published on February 21st, 2023 | Updated on February 21st, 2023 | By FanFest

After 10 months of being detained in Russia, Brittney Griner has chosen to extend her illustrious WNBA career by signing a one-year contract with the Phoenix Mercury for $165,00. The 32-year-old basketball phenom was drafted No. 1 overall back in 2013 and will rejoin the team that initially recruited her, as reported first by Hoop Stats. With this remarkable return to her former squad, Griner is sure to make an unforgettable impact during their upcoming season!

In 2021, Griner captained the Mercury to an impressive showing in the WNBA Finals before they were ultimately defeated by the Chicago Sky. Unfortunately, she was unable to participate in 2022 due to her detainment at a Russian prison after being caught carrying vape canisters containing cannabis oil. After extended negotiations, it was agreed that Griner would be released via prisoner exchange with Viktor Bout—a globally notorious Russian arms dealer—on December 8th of that year.


Shortly after returning to the United States, Griner went to Instagram to send a message to her fans. “I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help,” Griner wrote in the Instagram post. “I am grateful to each person who advocated for me, especially my wife, Cherelle Griner, my family, Lindsay Kagawa Colas and Casey Wasserman and my whole team at Wasserman, Vince Kozar and the Phoenix Mercury, the players of the WNBA, and my entire WNBA family, Terri Jackson and the WNBPA staff, my Russian legal team Maria Blagovolina and Alex Boykov, the leaders, activists, and grassroots organizations, Gov. Richardson and Mickey Bergman of the Richardson Center, the Bring Our Families Home Campaign, Roger Carstens and the SPEHA team, and of course, a special thank you to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Secretary Blinken and the entire Biden-Harris Administration.”

Griner is an unrivaled figure in WNBA legacy. She has been picked to play in the All-Star game a remarkable eight times, clinched two scoring titles, and blocked more shots than any other player with eight championships. Winning Defensive Player of the Year twice and being selected for six All-WNBA Team awards alongside her 2014 Mercury championship are only some of Griner’s many accomplishments – she also made it onto the prestigious 25th Anniversary Team as well as earning two Olympic gold medals

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