After being released from a Russian prison in December, WNBA star Brittney Griner made her second public appearance at the WM Phoenix Open golf event on Saturday.
Griner was among the 200,000 spectators that watched the action from the stadium’s 16th hole throughout the event.
Griner made her debut at the Martin Luther King Jr. march in downtown Phoenix last month.
Griner has a unique connection to Arizona because, following a fruitful collegiate career at Texas’ Baylor University, she has played her entire WNBA career with the Mercury.
At the Phoenix Open’s 16th hole, Brittney Griner thanks the spectators.
Griner surprised a crowd during an MLK march in Arizona less than six weeks after being released from a Russian prison.
In order to spend time with her wife and heal from her period in detention in Russia, Griner will miss the USA Basketball training camp in Minnesota.
Despite the fact that she is currently an unsigned free agent, she has stated she will play for the Phoenix Mercury once more this season.
Griner hasn’t discussed her plans for the international stage or the possibility of competing in the Paris Olympics in 2017.
After being detained in Russia in February for bringing marijuana vape cartridges through an airport, Griner was unable to play in the WNBA in 2021–2022.
She was imprisoned in Russia for more than ten months, and she was even sent to a penal colony, before being exchanged for renowned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, also known as “The Merchant of Death,” in exchange for her freedom.
Despite entering a guilty plea in July after being detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, Griner still had to go through a trial because in Russia, admitting guilt does not instantly end a case.
She admitted having cannabis oil canisters in court, but said she did not want to commit a crime and had mistakenly packed them. Her defence team provided formal confirmation that she had received a cannabis prescription for pain relief.
After entering a guilty plea in Russia, Griner is displayed on August 4. She received a nine-year prison term and was transferred to a prison colony.