Brittney Griner returns to the basketball court for first time in 10 months after Russian prisoner swap

Agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas says Ms Griner is yet to decide if she will return to the WNBA

Bevan Hurley
Monday 12 December 2022 16:35 GMT
White House official details Brittney Griner's first moments after prisoner swap

Brittney Griner has returned to the basketball court for the first time in 10 months after her release from Russian custody, her agent says.

Ms Griner, 32, had a light workout at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio on Sunday where she has been staying since her return to United States soil, Lindsay Kagawa Colas told ESPN.

The Phoenix Mercury player isn’t yet ready to say whether she will return to the WNBA, but is likely to issue her first statement since gaining her freedom sometime this week, Ms Colas told ESPN.

“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,” Ms Colas told the sports network.

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

Ms Griner was flown back to the US in a dramatic prisoner exchange with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout last week after she was convicted of possession of a small amount of cannabis oil.

She is staying on a hotel at the Texas military base with her wife Cherelle, and was joined by her father Ray and other family members for a barbecue on Saturday, her agent said.

Brittney Griner’s first act on her return to the basketball court was a dunk. (file photo)
Brittney Griner’s first act on her return to the basketball court was a dunk. (file photo) (Associated Press)

ESPN reported that the couple had no plans to return to their Phoenix home due to unspecified fears for her safety.

“From a pure security standpoint she’s not going to be able to move in the world the way she did,” Ms Colas told the network.

“It’s not a fate that she asked for, but I think she’s going to try to utilise her fame for good.”

Ms Griner’s first move on the Fort Sam Houston Physical Fitness Center court was a slam dunk, her agent said.

She has also received a haircut from the San Antonio Spurs barber to tidy up a cut days before being released from a Russian penal colony.

The two-time Olympic Games gold medallist had cut off her long hair after it kept freezing at the IK-2 prison, 200 miles east of Moscow, where she had been serving a nine-year sentence.

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