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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

'I Intend to Play Basketball’: Brittney Griner is Ready to Return to the Court

The Phoenix Mercury center posts on Instagram about her plans to return to the WNBA.

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Photo: Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

It seems Brittney Griner is tired of others talking for her. The WNBA champion, who recently returned to the United States after her release from Russia was negotiated in a prisoner swap, posted a statement on Instagram, where she thanks everyone involved in getting her home and makes it very clear that she’s not done with basketball.

“It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going,” Griner writes. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help.”

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The two-time Olympic gold medalist was wrongfully detained in Russia for 10 months, after she was arrested and convicted of drug smuggling and drug possession, because police say they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Her plight led to a wave of support from the basketball world, especially Griner’s teammates, friends and fans in the WNBA.

“I am grateful to each person who advocated for me, especially my wife, Cherelle Griner, my family, Lindsay Kagawa Colas and Casey Wasserman and my whole team at Wasserman,” she writes. “Vince Kozar and the Phoenix Mercury, the players of the WNBA, and my entire WNBA family, Terri Jackson and the WNBPA staff, my Russian legal team Maria Blagovolina and Alex Boykov, the leaders, activists, and grassroots organizations, Gov. Richardson and Mickey Bergman of the Richardson Center, the Bring Our Families Home Campaign, Roger Carstens and the SPEHA team, and of course, a special thank you to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Secretary Blinken and the entire Biden-Harris Administration.”

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“President Biden, you brought me home and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too,” Griner added. “I will use my platform to do whatever I can to help you. I also encourage everyone that played a part in bringing me home to continue their efforts to bring all Americans home. Every family deserves to be whole.”

She also thanked the team at Sam Houston Base, where the WNBA star underwent medical evaluations after she returned home.

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“As I transition home to enjoy the holidays with my family, I want to acknowledge and thank the entire PISA staff and medical team at the San Antonio Fort Sam Houston Base,” the eight-time WNBA All-Star continued. “I appreciate the time and care to make sure I was okay and equipped with the tools for this new journey.”

And as for basketball, the Phoenix Mercury center knows exactly where she stands on her future prospects.

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“I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon,” Griner concluded.


The 2023 WNBA season kicks off Friday, May 19, with the Mercury beginning its run on the road against the Los Angeles Sparks at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, Calif.