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Basketball: Brittney Griner signs new contract with Phoenix Mercury


Brittney Griner is back playing basketball after serving 10 months in Russia. According to media reports, the 32-year-old agreed on a new contract with her club Phoenix Mercury.

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Brittney Griner, here for Phoenix Mercury 2019

Photo: Ross D. Franklin / dpa

According to US media reports, the American basketball player Brittney Griner will appear again for the Phoenix Mercury in the women's basketball league WNBA in the coming season after her ten-month imprisonment in Russia.

As the US broadcaster ESPN and the AP news agency report, Griner and Phoenix are said to have agreed on a one-year contract.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and eight-time Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) All-Star, was arrested at a Moscow airport in early February 2022 for carrying vape cartridges containing hash oil in her luggage.

She was subsequently convicted of drug smuggling and later transferred to one of Russia's most notorious penal colonies, where former inmates have reported torture, severe beatings and slave labor.

Griner last played for Mercury in the 2021 WNBA season

Griner was released in December last year as part of a prisoner swap with Russia in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout.

According to media reports, the 32-year-old signed the contract on Saturday to return to the only WNBA team she has played for since it picked her as the first player in the 2013 draft.

Mercury, who open their WNBA season May 19 with the Los Angeles Sparks, initially did not confirm the reports.

In her first public statement after her release last December, Griner said she would stand up for Americans imprisoned abroad and that she planned to return to her WNBA team.

"I intend to play basketball for Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA this season and I look forward to personally thanking those of you who have reached out, written and posted for me soon," Griner wrote.

Griner last played for Mercury in the 2021 WNBA season when she had one of the best years of her career, averaging 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 30 games.


Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2023-02-19

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