WNBA star Brittney Griner has shut down any possibility of playing basketball overseas during a recent interview.

Back in February 2022, the beloved athlete was wrongfully detained in Russia after she was accused of carrying hashish oil in her luggage.

At the time, Griner was travelling to the country to spend the Phoenix Mercury off-season playing for the Russian basketball team UMMC Ekaterinburg – which she had done since 2014.

In the wake of her arrest, the Olympic athlete was held in a detention centre and given limited communication with her lawyers and family.

She was also sentenced to nine years in prison and given a fine of one million rubles ($16,300).

Fortunately, Griner returned back to the United States after President Joe Biden struck a deal with Russia to exchange her for arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Since her joyous return, the 32-year-old has remained an open book about her future in basketball, including her career overseas.

While attending her first press conference ahead of the Phoenix Mercury pre-season, Griner revealed that she would no longer be leaving the U.S. to play basketball.

“I can say, for me, I’m never going overseas to play again unless I’m representing my country at the Olympics,” she told reporters.


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Griner went on to open up about the financial reasons behind travelling overseas and the low salaries that WNBA players receive compared to their NBA counterparts.

“It’s a shame that we have to leave our families for holidays, I mean, you’re missing everything, being away. But, at the same time, as much as I would love to pay my light bill for the love of the game, I can’t,” she explained.

“So I think that’s probably one of the biggest reasons people are still going overseas. And that’s why I was there. Hopefully, that changes, though.”

Elsewhere in her interview, Griner revealed that training for her highly anticipated WNBA return has been a “hard” process since returning to the US.

“Getting back into it was hard. It’s still a process. Just the little things, I mean. Doing a plank was so simple before. And, couldn’t even stay up very long in just a regular plank when I first came back,” she revealed.

“Because, as an athlete, you always want to be where you left off.”

Lastly, Griner used the press conference to bring awareness to Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich – two American citizens who are being wrongfully detained in Russia.

“Keep fighting. Don’t give up. Just keep waking up. Find a little routine and stick to that routine as best you can. I know that’s what helped me… Just keep pushing,” she said.

Watch Griner’s full press conference here or below.