American basketball star Brittney Griner is set to return to the WNBA, the highest American basketball league in the United States. Griner, 32, signed a new contract with his club Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday.
“Today is an important day for all of us. We have missed Brittney constantly while she was away,” said club manager Jim Pitman. “We are happy that she can play basketball again, the sport she loves so much.”
Griner was arrested at Moscow airport last February for transporting cannabis oil in e-cigarette cartridges. She uses the oil in the United States for medical reasons, but the liquid is banned in Russia.
The American was eventually sentenced to nine years in prison, but was released last December. In exchange for his release, the United States had to release Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Phoenix Mercury is already selling tickets for “Welcome Home Opener”
Griner is scheduled to play his first game for Phoenix Mercury on May 19. The team, with which she was already under contract for the past few years, is already selling tickets for the so-called “Welcome Home Opener”.
“We will continue to use the resources of our organization to support her, on and off the field,” Pitman said. “Anyway, it’s great that she can come back. It’s a special contract signing.”
Griner, who won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA, is considered one of the best basketball players in the world. She moved to Russia to play for Russia’s UMMC Yekaterinburg between American seasons.
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