Brittney Griner Returns to Basketball Court with Phoenix Mercury: 'There She Is' [Photos]

Brittney Griner looks thrilled to be back on a basketball court with her WNBA team.

via: People

Just over a year since the WNBA player was detained for allegedly smuggling “narcotic drugs” into Russia — and just two months after her release — Griner, 32, is officially practicing with her WNBA team.

Mercury released three images of the basketball star shooting on Tuesday, which show her wearing a gold chain, black WNBA tank top and matching black and purple shorts worn over dark purple leggings. Her short hair also shows a slight fade on the sides.

“There she is,” the team wrote alongside the series of photos.

On Monday, it was reported that Griner is returning to the Phoenix Mercury under a one-year, $165,100 free-agent contract. She last played for the team during the 2021 season, averaging 17.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in her career.

It is also something she voiced her intention of doing on her return to the United States in December flowing close to ten months in a Russian prison.

“I also want to make one thing very clear,” Griner wrote in an a lengthy Instagram post. “I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season.”

“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,” she continued.

On Dec. 12, Griner participated in her first basketball workout, with her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, telling ESPN that she would take the holiday season to contemplate her next steps.

“There’s no timeline on her return at this point,” Colas told ESPN. “She’s reintegrating into a world that has changed for her now. From a pure security standpoint, she’s not going to be able to move in the world the way she did.”

“If she wants to play, it will be for her to share,” Colas added per ESPN. “She has the holidays to decide what’s next without any pressure. She’s doing really, really well. She seems to have endured this in pretty incredible ways.”

Last week, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said she was able to meet with the Phoenix Mercury star for the first time.

“I met with her in Phoenix,” Engelbert told Poppy Harlow on CNN This Morning ahead of the NBA All-Star Weekend. “Britney is doing remarkably well, and she’s starting to train. We’re so excited to have her back in the league after an awful ordeal.”

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