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Brittney Griner Says She'll Play Basketball Again

Griner also thanked President Biden for bringing her home, said that she "knows" he is "committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too."

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner.
Rick Scuteri / AP
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Brittney Griner said she's "grateful" to be back in the United States and plans on playing basketball again next season for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. Her comments came a week after she was released from a Russian prison, freed in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange.

"It feels so good to be home!" Griner posted to Instagram on Friday in her first public statement since her release. "The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help."

Griner went on to say that she wanted to make it clear that, "I intend to play basketball for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say 'thank you' to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon."

'I Want To Talk': Brittney Griner Opened Up During Her Long Trip Home
'I Want To Talk': Brittney Griner Opened Up During Her Long Trip Home

'I Want To Talk': Brittney Griner Opened Up During Her Long Trip Home

Griner made connections with the people responsible for getting her home, spending time getting to know them and sharing details about her time away.

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Additionally, Griner thanked President Joe Biden for bringing her home and said that she "knows" he is "committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too," and that she will use her platform to help advocate for their return.

"I also encourage everyone that played a part in bringing me home to continue their efforts to bring all Americans home. Every family deserves to be whole," Griner said. 

The Mercury open the season on the road against the Los Angeles Sparks on May 19. The teams' first home game is two days later against the Chicago Sky.

Griner has been staying in a hotel at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio since her return. She's reunited with family members, including her wife Cherelle.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.