Brittney Griner will return to the WNBA and the Phoenix Mercury

FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) drives past Chicago Sky forward Candace...
FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) drives past Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker (3) during the first half of Game 1 of the WNBA basketball Finals, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Phoenix. Brittney Griner's return to the WNBA this summer after being traded in a dramatic prisoner swap in December with Russia has collided with free agency, creating potential travel complications for the league out of safety concerns for her.( AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)(Ralph Freso | AP)
Published: Feb. 19, 2023 at 3:47 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) - Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who was detained in Russia for nearly ten months, will be re-signing with the Phoenix Mercury for a one-year contract, a source confirmed to CBS News on Sunday.

The 32-year-old spent nearly 300 days in Russia, after she was arrested for marijuana possession while traveling to the country to play basketball during the WNBA off-season. The Biden administration considered her detention and trial as politically motivated. Moscow released the athlete in a swap for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

After Griner’s release in December, she took to Instagram to say she intended to once again play for the Mercury, where she has been a center since 2013. She had been a free agent until her re-signing.

“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,” Griner wrote at the time.

Garner last played for the Mercury in 2021, when she helped the team make it to the WNBA finals.

Diana Taurasi, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, has also re-signed with the Phoenix Mercury in a multiyear contract, the team announced on Saturday.

A formal announcement of Griner’s re-signing is expected on Tuesday.

© 2023 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.