WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert has shared a positive update regarding Brittney Griner’s return to the league.
Back in 2022, the beloved basketball star was arrested and wrongfully detained in Russia after she was accused of carrying hashish oil in her luggage.
After being held in detention for 10 months, Griner returned to the United States after President Joe Biden struck a deal to exchange her for arms dealer Viktor Bout.
“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” Biden revealed on 8 December (per CNN).
“After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along.”
Shortly after her return, Grinner announced her intention to play in the 2023 basketball season in a heartfelt Instagram post.
“I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season,” she wrote at the time.
On 17 February, WNBA commissioner Engelbert shared a new update on the 32-year-old and expressed her excitement for the talented player’s return to the league.
“I met with her in Phoenix. Brittney is doing remarkably well, and she’s starting to train,” she told the news outlet. “We’re so excited to have her back in the league after an awful ordeal.”
The basketball official also admitted to giving Griner time with her family before approaching her about the 2023 season.
“We wanted to give her the holidays to meet with family and friends,” she added. “Just a remarkable experience. She has a remarkable story about what she went through, but we’re looking forward to having her back in the W.”
While Engelbert refrained from confirming Griner’s return to the Phoenix Mercury, an additional report from ESPN seemingly confirmed the news.
According to the sporting news outlet, a source revealed that the beloved athlete signed a one-year contract for $165,100 with the Arizona-based team.
We can’t wait to see Griner back on the court for the 2023 WNBA season.
— CNN This Morning (@CNNThisMorning) February 17, 2023