Brittney Griner has signed a deal with the Phoenix Mercury to return to the squad. According to ESPN, BG will hit the floor at the start of the WNBA season on May 19, 2023, draped in purple and orange as the free agent inked a one-year deal worth $165,100.
Commemorating her tenth season, both Griner and the official Twitter account for the Phoenix Mercury took to social media to celebrate the news.
“The news you’ve all been waiting for!” the Twitter page tweeted. “BG will be back in a Phoenix Mercury jersey this season.” “So Good to be back with the family! Phoenix Mercury??,” Griner captioned her Instagram clip.
The center’s last exhibition for the Mercury was in 2021 when she and her team found themselves in the WNBA Finals. The season ended with the Phoenix squad losing out to the Chicago Sky.
The Houston, TX native has been a part of the Mercury since she was drafted by the team in 2013. However, she missed a season for the first time in 2022 when she was detained in Russia and imprisoned for almost ten months. President Joe Biden and his administration negotiated for her release with Russia, with the U.S. agreeing on an exchange for notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout.
After her release, BG broke her silence in a December 2022 IG post where she was finally able to than her supporters, including the Biden administration.
“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. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help.
President Biden, you brought me home, and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too. 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 ended her caption confirming that she would return to the court. “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. ”
The Phoneix Mercury is set to face off against the Los Angeles Sparks on May 19, 2023 in an away game. On May 21, 2023, the Mercury will have their home opener against the last team Griner faced: the Chicago Sky.