Griner signs with Phoenix Mercury

Brittney Griner will continue her basketball career after her captivity in Russia and has signed a one-year contract with her former WNBA club Phoenix Mercury.

With “BG is back” the franchise confirmed the return of the star player on Tuesday.

“This is a special signing, it’s a special day for all of us,” said Mercury CEO Jim Pitman. “We missed BG every day that she wasn’t there.”

Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison for drug smuggling by a Russian court in early August and released in a spectacular prisoner exchange in December. The 32-year-old spent a total of almost ten months in Russian detention after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were discovered in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February 2022.

The 32-year-old was drafted number one by Phoenix in 2013 and won the championship in 2014. There were also two gold medals at the Olympics (2016, 2020) and two world titles (2014, 2018) with the USA. Griner was also named to the list of the top 25 WNBA players.