Brittney Griner Hits the Courts for First Time Since Prison Release


| LAST UPDATE 12/13/2022

By Elizabeth Russo
Brittney Griner WNBA Prisoner Swap
Michael Hickey via Getty Images

After 10 months of incarceration in Moscow, WNBA star Brittney Griner has finally been released. The athlete was detained in February and sentenced to 9 years in prison but was freed this week as part of a prisoner exchange agreement. Following the news of her release, Griner's agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas told ESPN she was safe at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and even dunked a basketball for the first time in almost a year upon landing.

The basketball star had been playing for the Phoenix Mercury since 2013, when she was selected as the team's first overall pick in the draft. Since then, Griner has absolutely dominated the court, becoming one of the best WNBA players the league has ever seen. During her off-seasons that Griner would travel abroad and play in China and Russia. Unfortunately, it was during her time abroad that she got into trouble with the law and faced smuggling charges in Russia.

Brittney Griner Russia Released
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Since her release, Griner has not yet publically spoken, but according to her agent, she will issue a statement "this week." Upon the news of Griner's first workout in just under a year, questions began circulating on whether or not she's ready to return to her WNBA career playing for the Phoenix Mercury. And according to her agent, "she's doing really, really well" and "seems to have endured this in pretty incredible ways." So when it comes down to hitting the courts, Colas shared, "if she wants to play, it will be for her to share. She has the holidays to rest and decide what's next without any pressure." Colas continued, "there's no timeline on her return at this point," as she's "reintegrating into a world that has changed for her now." Griner's agent explained, "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."

On that note, Griner will put her energy into raising awareness for other Americans who have been wrongfully detained overseas, according to Colas. Once she landed back on U.S. ground, Griner was examined by a medical team and psychologist before being happily reunited with her wife, Cherelle Griner. Stay tuned.

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