Brittney Griner dunks in first workout since release, basketball future unknown


Brittney Griner has made her return to the court.

While it may not be a WNBA game, the 32-year-old Phoenix Mercury star laced up some Chuck Taylor sneakers and a pair of her team's shorts and picked up a basketball for the first time in almost 10 months on Sunday, her agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas told ESPN. Griner was able to participate in a light workout, and in true Griner fashion, her first move on the court was a dunk.

Griner was freed from a Russian prison after being detained for 294 days. She was released to the United States after President Joe Biden exchanged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner in a prisoner swap, which was four months after she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years in prison for drug possession and smuggling charges.

On Dec. 9, she was finally freed and was able to be reunited with her family.

Griner is still at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio -- where she was taken after her release, according to Colas. She is joined by her wife, Cherelle, and the two will head to a private location – not their Phoenix home – once they leave Fort Sam Houston. Despite the light workout, Colas says Griner doesn't have any current plans to return to her WNBA career with the Phoenix Mercury.

“There's no timeline on her return at this point,” Colas said. “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. It's not a fate that she asked for, but I think she's going to try to utilize her fame for good. If she wants to play, it will be for her to share.

“She has the holidays to rest and decide what's next without any pressure,” Colas added. 

“She's doing really, really well. She seems to have endured this in pretty incredible ways.”

While Griner has not spoken publicly since her return, Colas said she could issue a statement “this week.”

While her basketball future may be at the forefront of fans’ minds, it feels like it’s the last thing Griner is focusing on at the moment.


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