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Brittney Griner returns to motion for first time since being launched from detention in Russia | NBA Information

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Brittney Griner has performed with Phoenix Mercury for the primary time since 2021, returning to motion in a preseason sport after practically 10 months of detention in Russia.

The 2-time Olympic gold medallist was launched from a Russian jail in a high-profile prisoner trade with america late final 12 months after she was arrested in February 2022 on drug fees for possessing hashish oil.

Griner pleaded responsible to the costs and was sentenced to 9 years in jail.

“I did not suppose I might be sitting right here. I did not suppose I might be taking part in basketball this rapidly,” Griner advised reporters after Mercury’s 90-71 loss to Los Angeles Sparks on Friday night time.

“I did not know the way it was going to go, getting again into it. Grateful to be right here, that is for certain.”

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Griner was greeted to roars of celebration at Phoenix’s Footprint Middle as she exited the tunnel and strode onto the court docket.

Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medallist

The eight-time All-Star bought on the board within the first minute with a two-point shot, and had 10 factors with three rebounds throughout 17 minutes.

“I did not really feel like I used to be gassed or dying. [I’m] knocking off these cobwebs, eliminating the dangerous habits.”

The 2-time WNBA scoring champion has been topic to monumental media curiosity since her return to america, utilizing her super-sized platform to champion the reason for different Individuals detained overseas.

The 32-year-old, who’s engaged on a memoir about her arrest and imprisonment, stated the season forward additionally provided a chance to deal with the sport once more.

“It feels good, you undoubtedly really feel appreciated,” stated Griner. “However I can not watch for the day the place it is form of like simply basketball.”

Mercury open their common season on the street in Los Angeles towards Sparks on Could 19.

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