Photo: Christian Petersen / Staff via Getty Images
  /  02.19.2023

Brittney Griner will suit up with her Phoenix Mercury teammates when the 2023 WNBA season tips off in May. The 6-foot-9 center reportedly signed a one-year deal, according to a source who confirmed her status with the team to CNN on Sunday (Feb. 19). She has been with the franchise since 2013.

Griner made it clear that she was focused on getting back on the court in her first Instagram post following her release from a Russian detention center last December. “I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon,” she wrote.

At the time of this report, neither the three-time championship-winning team nor Griner has issued public commentary about the reported deal. However, on Feb. 16, the Phoenix Mercury shared the first installment of a three-part series called “For the W,” where they “showcase the power of women in the WNBA who used their platforms, and we take you behind the scenes of our meeting with the State Department in Washington, D.C.”

As previously reported, the basketball star was arrested in February 2022 when Sheremetyevo Airport personnel found THC vape cartridges in her luggage. Six months later, she was found guilty, sentenced to nine years in prison, and fined more than $16,000. As outrage over her arrest and harsh sentencing grew, so did calls for the U.S. to step up its initiatives to see that Griner was safely returned home. For months, her case made headlines as political figures, including President Joe Biden, shared that negotiations were underway to reunite the NCAA champ with her loved ones. Her freedom came in exchange for the release of notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

View part one of “For the W” below.



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