Brittney Griner is back from detention in Russia and will officially return to the basketball court on Friday, May 19 when the Mercury Suns face off against the Los Angeles.
During a press conference on Thursday, April 27, the Phoenix Mercury center spoke candidly about returning to life as a free woman in the U.S. after her horrific 10-month wrongful detainment in Russia.
In February of 2022 Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison after a Russian judge found her guilty of smuggling and storing illegal drugs. The WNBA star for the Phoenix Mercury, traveled to Russia to play basketball in order to earn a higher salary. She earned $227,000 playing in the WNBA and over $1 million playing in Russia.
Griner shared in a press conference on Thursday how she managed to stay hopeful and survive the long-term ordeal.
“I was aware of the efforts and everything that was going on. I was able to see pictures of different things. Being aware of what was going on when you don’t know anything,” Griner said. “You’re like, ‘OK, I know people are fighting for me or bringing awareness to what’s going on.’ Those times where I was able to see what was going on, it definitely made me a little bit more comfortable. It made me have hope, which is a really hard thing to have. A really dangerous thing to have because when it doesn’t work, it’s soul-crushing.”
“When I did lose my hope, looking at photos of my family brought my hope back. Being able to see their faces. That did it for me,” she continued. “In a moment where you want to give up, you look at the photos and it brings you back to what you’re waiting on. You’re waiting to be back with your family, with your loved ones in a safe place.”
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