Griner Posts Her First Message to Fans

'Feels so good to be home!' wrote WNBA star, who says she'll play for Phoenix Mercury this season
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2022 12:08 PM CST
Griner Speaks Out: 'Feels So Good to Be Home!'
Brittney Griner is seen during a WNBA finals match between the Phoenix Mercury and Chicago Sky on Oct. 13, 2021, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

Now that she's got that first dunk out of her system, Brittney Griner is finally heading to her home in Arizona. The WNBA star, who flew back to the United States on Dec. 9 after being released by Russia in a prisoner swap, has spent the past week in a San Antonio military medical facility being assessed by doctors after her 10-month ordeal. On Friday, the Phoenix Mercury center boarded a flight from Texas to Arizona, taking off around 11am local time, her agent confirmed to CNN, which notes exactly where in Arizona is being kept quiet for security reasons.

Around the time her plane took off, Griner also posted her first public message to fans, per CBS News. "It feels so good to be home!" she wrote on Instagram, showing a photo of herself coming off the plane from overseas last week, as well as a pic showing her embracing her wife, Cherelle Griner. "The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going." Griner went on to thank a long list of people, including her spouse, her family, her agent, the WNBA, her team, the medical staff at Fort Sam Houston Base, and President Biden and his administration. She then addressed the commander in chief specifically.

"I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too," she wrote, adding that she'll use her own platform to help out with that. "I also encourage everyone that played a part in bringing me home to continue their efforts to bring all Americans home. Every family deserves to be whole." The basketball star made one final announcement in her post, settling rumors on her plans now that she's back in the States. "I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury this season," she wrote. "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." (More Brittney Griner stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.