Brittney Griner makes ’emotional’ homecoming for Phoenix Mercury after release from Russian prison | NBA news

Brittney Griner and wife Sherrell hugged and smiled as they embraced courtside after the final buzzer in Sunday night’s loss to the Chicago Sky, which did little to dampen the Phoenix Mercury star’s emotional homecoming.

Griner, who played in her first competitive WNBA game 19 months ago over the weekend, was making her first appearance in front of her home fans since being released from a Russian prison where she spent 10 months on drug charges. his arrest in February 2022.

The 32-year-old singer was introduced to the court to ‘I’m Coming Home’, composed by a teary-eyed Griner, as she was greeted by her teammates and the Mercury crowd, who erupted at her entrance.

“I might have had a little dust in my eye,” Griner said. “It was emotional at the back. Just listened and watched some videos, then exited.

“And then he made me that song. Oh my God: But no, it was really good. Part of the healing process is letting it out. I got a little choked up. I tried to hide it. but I see you caught it.’

Greiner wasted no time reminding the WNBA of her talent after returning to action, scoring 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds and an assist in the Mercury loss. With four blocks on the night, she also passed Sylvia Fowles for third on the all-time blocks list.

He marked his return on Saturday with 18 points, six rebounds and two assists against the Los Angeles Sparks.

“We didn’t, we didn’t get the job done by winning tonight, but I just continue to be impressed with BG,” Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard said. “BG is someone who can clearly handle so many things that most people couldn’t handle.”

He admitted that US Special Envoy for Hostages Roger Carstens and Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee were left in tears after seeing Greener’s return.

“When BG came out, it was a very emotional moment for both of us, with the team sitting in Washington, we knew this day was coming,” he said. “We knew it was going to be tough, what we saw was exactly what I imagined. BG house. Cheryl (Griner) cheers him on. BG’s family in the crowd, and BG. Play basketball.”

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