Brittney Griner targets WNBA return in 2023 in first public assertion since being launched from Russian jail | NBA Information
Brittney Griner mentioned she’s grateful to be again in the USA and plans on enjoying basketball once more subsequent season for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.
Her feedback got here per week after she was launched from a Russian jail as a part of a prisoner alternate.
“It feels so good to be house!” Griner posted to Instagram on Friday in her first public assertion since her launch.
“The final 10 months have been a battle at each flip. I dug deep to maintain my religion and it was the love from so a lot of you that helped maintain me going. From the underside of my coronary heart, thanks to everybody in your assist.”
Griner was arrested in February in Russia on drug-related fees and was later convicted and sentenced to 9 years in a Russian jail.
After months of strained negotiations, and a uncommon public revelation by the Biden administration that it had made a considerable proposal to deliver house Griner and one other detained American, Paul Whelan, the case resolved final week with a prisoner swap wherein the WNBA star was exchanged within the United Arab Emirates for Russian arms vendor Viktor Bout.
“President Biden, you introduced me house and I do know you might be dedicated to bringing Paul Whelan and all People house too,” Griner mentioned.
“I’ll use my platform to do no matter I can that can assist you. I additionally encourage everybody that performed a component in bringing me house to proceed their efforts to deliver all People house. Each household deserves to be complete.”
Griner thanked the army employees and medical staff in Texas, the place she was receiving care after returning to the U.S. final week.
She wrote that she would transition house to benefit from the holidays together with her household however didn’t say the place.
Whereas WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert mentioned she was going to provide Griner on a regular basis she wanted to determine whether or not she wished to play basketball once more, Griner made it clear that: “I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look ahead to with the ability to say thanks to these of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in individual quickly.”
The Mercury open the season on the highway in opposition to the Los Angeles Sparks on Could 19. The staff’s first house recreation is 2 days later in opposition to the Chicago Sky.