Basketball star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner has re-signed to the Phoenix Mercury for one year, NBC News confirmed.
A statement officially announcing the signing is expected Tuesday, a source close to Griner said.
Griner has played for the Mercury her entire WNBA career, which started in 2013. She missed the full 2022 season while she was imprisoned in Russia for nearly 10 months.
Griner previously said she intended to play in the 2023 season. The signing puts to bed any doubt about the team.
Brittney Griner makes 2nd public appearance since prisoner swapFeb. 12, 202300:20
Griner was freed from a Russian penal colony in December after the Biden administration negotiated her release in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout.
She was arrested in February 2022 at a Moscow airport and accused of having arrived in the country with vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage, Russian authorities said. Griner pleaded guilty at her trial in July but said she had no criminal intent. The canisters, which she had been prescribed to treat chronic pain, were packed inadvertently as she hurriedly prepared for her flight, she said.
In her first comments after she was freed in the prisoner exchange, Griner wrote on Instagram that being in Russian custody for almost 10 months was an emotional battle.
“I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going,” she wrote. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help.”