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Brittney Griner’s WNBA Return Celebrated by Mercury Coach: ‘At this time Is a Day of Pleasure’

Erin WalshMay 20, 2023AP Photo/Matt YorkFor the first time in 578 days, Brittney Griner suited up in a WNBA regular season game as the Phoenix Mercury opened the 2023 campaign on Friday night against the Los Angeles Sparks at Arena.”Today is a day of joy,” Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard told reporters Friday. “An

Brittney Griner’s WNBA Return Celebrated by Mercury Coach: ‘At this time Is a Day of Pleasure’

Erin WalshCould 20, 2023

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) shoots a free throw against the Los Angeles Sparks during the first half of a WNBA preseason basketball game, Friday, May 12, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

AP Photograph/Matt York

For the primary time in 578 days, Brittney Griner suited up in a WNBA common season recreation because the Phoenix Mercury opened the 2023 marketing campaign on Friday evening towards the Los Angeles Sparks at Area.

“At this time is a day of pleasure,” Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard told reporters Friday. “A tremendous, superb factor has occurred.”

Griner hadn’t appeared in a WNBA recreation since Recreation 4 of the 2021 Finals after being detained in Russia in February 2022. She spent 10 months in a Russian jail earlier than being freed in a prisoner swap between america and Russia.

Griner’s highly-anticipated return to the court docket was celebrated by her coaches, teammates, followers and even Vice President Kamala Harris, who attended Friday’s season-opener and gave a speech within the Mercury locker room earlier than the sport.

Phoenix Mercury @PhoenixMercury

Thanks @VP Kamala Harris for the whole lot you and the Administration did to carry our sister dwelling.

And thanks for the pregame speech! 💜

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Griner, a seven-time All-Star and 2014 WNBA champion, opened the primary half of Friday’s recreation with a powerful 11 factors, 5 rebounds, two assists and three blocks.


One other have a look at Brittney Griner’s first made bucket of the 2023 szn 😤


So good we needed to see it twice 🤩

The 32-year-old is anticipated to play a big function for the Mercury this season alongside Diana Taurasi as Phoenix appears to rebound from a disappointing 15-21 end to the 2022 marketing campaign.

It’d take a while for Griner to return to full kind, however there’s little doubt she may help the staff after averaging 20.5 factors, 9.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks through the 2021 season.

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