Brittney Griner (file pic). AAP/PA Images
Moving On

Brittney Griner set to return to WNBA after Russian prison release

The American basketball star has signed a one-year deal with Phoenix Mercury, according to reports.

BRITTNEY GRINER, THE American women’s basketball star who was imprisoned in Russia for nearly 10 months last year, has signed a one-year Women’s NBA deal with the Phoenix Mercury, according to multiple reports Sunday.

ESPN, CNN, TMZ and other US outlets cited unnamed sources in reporting that Griner has rejoined the team she helped lead to a 2014 WNBA crown.

Griner said after she was released in a prisoner exchange last December that she planned to return to her WNBA career.

Griner, a 32-year-old center who helped the US women capture Olympic gold at Tokyo and Rio, was arrested on drug smuggling charges last February after a small amount of cannabis oil was found in her luggage.

Her detention became a major global issue, deemed wrongful imprisonment by US officials.

The Mercury have not announced the signing of Griner but on Saturday did announce that star guard Diana Taurasi was returning to Phoenix for her 19th career WNBA campaign.

Griner last played for the Mercury in 2021, when she helped Phoenix reach the WNBA Final, which was lost to Chicago.

– © AFP 2023

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