Brittney Griner claims she will participate in the upcoming WNBA season.

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Brittney Griner claims she will participate in the upcoming WNBA season. Brittney Griner says she will participate in the upcoming WNBA season in her first public statement since being released from captivity in Russia.

A week after being returned to the United States in a prisoner swap, the two-time Olympic gold medalist shared the good news on Instagram and thanked those who helped bring her home.

She added, “I also want to be very clear about one thing. “This season, I plan to play basketball for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA. In doing so, I look forward to being able to personally thank those of you who supported me by writing, posting, and advocating for me.”

On May 19, the 2023 WNBA season gets underway. Phoenix lost in the WNBA finals in 2021, and Griner was Mercury’s top scorer and rebounder that season.

Read more: Barcelona Has Compensated Seven Figures For Lionel Messi’s World Cup Victory.

Due to the gender pay gap in basketball, Griner traveled to Russia to play for a team there during the American offseason, as many WNBA players do. Griner arrived in San Antonio last Friday following her release in a prisoner exchange after being arrested in February and given a nine-year prison term on drug smuggling charges. According to the White House, she was in good health and spirits at the time.

Being at home feels lovely in a post on Instagram, Griner. “Every day for the past ten months has been a struggle. I struggled mightily to maintain my faith, and the love of so many of you kept me going. I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone for their assistance.”

She expressed her gratitude to her family, the WNBA, her legal team, the medical staff at San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston Base, the Biden-Harris administration, and several other people and groups who worked to secure her release.

The athlete is doing well and “benefiting from all of the resources that the U.S. government provides to someone like her, who has been through so much and is now into this next phase of reintegration,” Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, told NPR’s All Things Considered on Wednesday.

Griner wants to use her newly acquired platform to aid others, particularly those who have been unjustly detained abroad, Colas continued. That includes Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who was first arrested in 2018 and is still being held there despite the release of two other Americans this year. Her agent claimed that Griner “asks about him constantly.”

In a section of her Instagram post that she addressed to President Joe Biden, Griner herself alluded to Whelan’s plight.

In her letter, she said, “President Biden, you brought me home, and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too. “I’ll use my influence to help you in any way I can. I also exhort everyone who helped me return home to keep working to do the same for all Americans. Every family should be complete.”