wnba

The encouraging news since Brittney Griner's return to America


Author: Matt EllentuckPublished: 12/13/22

After 264 days, Brittney Griner returned to America after a long-awaited prisoner swap on Thursday. On Sunday, it was announced through her agent to ESPN that after 10 months, the All-Star laced up a pair of Chuck Taylor sneakers, put on Phoenix Suns shorts, and played basketball again. The 6-foot-9 center's first bucket was a dunk.

The news was especially significant after the October report that Griner, while held at a Moscow prison, refused to play basketball because it was too painful.

Here's what else we know about the Mercury star since her return home.

Griner is staying in San Antonio for the time being

She's spending time in Texas at Fort Sam Houston with her wife, Cherelle. Her father and other family members have visited as well.

When she leaves, ESPN's T.J. Quinn reports she won't return to Phoenix, where she is currently employed for the WNBA's Mercury franchise. Instead, she will head to a "private and secure location."

Griner has yet to speak publicly since returning to the U.S.

She is expected to release a statement this week, per her agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas.

There has been no decision made on her playing future

Understandably so, this issue should remain at the bottom of the list of concerns for Griner.

"If she wants to play, it will be for her to share," Colas said to ESPN. She has the holidays to rest and decide what's next without any pressure. She's doing really, really well. She seems to have endured this in pretty incredible ways."

Griner is still under contract with the Phoenix Mercury, where she's played her entire professional career.

"There's no timeline on her return at this point. She's reintegrating into a world that has changed for her now," Colas said. "From a pure security standpoint she's not going to be able to move in the world the way she did. It's not a fate that she asked for, but I think she's going to try to utilize her fame for good."

Griner will work help bring Paul Whelan, a wrongfully detained marine, back home

There was hope that Whelan, who's been imprisoned in Russia since 2018 on espionage charges, would return on the same flight as Griner, but negotiations fell flat.

Her wife, Cherelle, worked closely with Whelan's family as both had loved ones in similar situations. Cherelle pledged to continue push to get Whelan and other Americans detained abroad home on Friday.

"BG's not here to say this, but I'll gladly speak on her behalf and say that BG and I will remain committed to the work of getting every American home including Paul, whose family is in our hearts today as we celebrate BG being home. We do understand that there are still people out here who are enduring what I endured the last nine months of missing, tremendously, their loved ones."


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