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Brittney Griner re-signs with the Phoenix Mercury and returns to the WNBA after being released from Russian jail


The basketball player played her entire career for this team, but missed the 2022 season after her ordeal in a Russian penal colony for nearly 10 months.

By Mirna Alsharif and Katie Distler

- NBC News

Basketball star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner has re-signed with the Phoenix Mercury for one year, NBC News has confirmed.

An official statement announcing the signing is expected on Tuesday, according to a source close to Griner.

[Russia frees basketball player Brittney Griner in prisoner exchange with the United States]

The athlete has played for the Mercury her entire WNBA career, which began in 2013. She missed the entire 2022 season while incarcerated in Russia for nearly 10 months, according to

Griner previously said that he intended to play in the 2023 season. This move puts an end to any doubt about the team.

Brittney Griner breaks the silence and says she will help another American imprisoned in Russia

Dec 17, 202200:27

Griner was released from a Russian penal colony in December after the Biden administration negotiated her release in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout.

She was detained in February 2022 at a Moscow airport for allegedly arriving in the country with vaping cans containing cannabis oil in her luggage, according to Russian authorities.

Griner pleaded guilty at trial in July, but she claimed she had no criminal intent.

Her canisters, which she had prescribed to treat chronic pain, she slipped inadvertently as she rushed to prepare for the flight, she testified.

[Who is Viktor Bout?

The arms dealer that the US exchanged with Russia]

In her first comments after being released in the prisoner exchange, Griner wrote on Instagram that being in Russian custody for nearly 10 months was an emotional battle.

“I tried my hardest to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that kept me going,” Griner wrote.

"From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for your help."

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-02-21

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