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Brittney Griner says ‘no’ to overseas play

By Dorothy J. Gentry
Sports Editor

Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner at morning practice in Dallas. Photo: Phoenix Mercury, Dallas Wings

For Brittney Griner, there is no place like home.

“Being back in Texas is wonderful. I’m just happy to get some barbecue and just seeing my family again,” she said. “I miss Texas so much. I miss being at home, I miss the culture.

“When you’re from Texas, you know it’s like the best place to be,” Griner continued. “I’m just happy to get back to that ; to playing in front of people in Texas.”

The Houston native returns to her beloved state for two games between her Phoenix Mercury and the Dallas Wings at College Park Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington. It will be more than two years since Griner has played in Arlington. She last played at College Park Center May 29, 2021.


The Texas ties run deep for Griner. In addition to growing up in Houston, she went to college at Baylor University in Waco where she helped them win a national championship in 2012.

She has also won multiple Gold Medals for the Team USA women’s basketball.

“We did a great job bringing our sister home and I am also happy that she wants to play and be out on the court,” said Dallas Wings forward Satou Sabally. “She’s from Texas so it will be a welcoming applause that she deserves. She’s a phenomenal basketball player.”

“It’s important for her to get all that love and know that we were pulling for her and praying for her in that hard time,” said Dallas Wings center Kalani Brown, who has followed Griner’s career since she was young and who also played at Baylor.

“For her to be playing so well after all of that adversity and she has triumphed over it – I am so proud of her. It just makes me have so much more respect for her.” Brown said. “I am glad that situation didn’t dim her light because she is the sweetest person. Every encounter we’ve had. I never had a negative one. I’m so glad it didn’t change her because it could have easily done that. Thank God for that.”


Griner was freed in December in a prisoner swap with the U.S. releasing Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. She had been detained in Russia for 294 days since her after being arrested in February 2022 after authorities found hash oil in her luggage.

She returned to the WNBA but won’t be playing abroad again, unless it’s with Team USA.

“I’m never playing over-seas again,” the two-time Olympic gold medalist said during her first press conference since being released. “The only time I would want to would be to represent the USA.”

Photos of her family is what helped her keep her head and her hopes up while imprisoned.

“Just being able to see their faces, that did it for me. The moment where you kind of want to give up, you look at the photos and it kind of brings you back to what you’re waiting on,” she said. “You’re waiting to be back with your families, with your loved ones in a safe place.”


Through a horrible or-deal Griner is happy to be back home with family and grateful for the resiliency she displayed.

“I’m no stranger to hard times. Just digging deep,” she said. “You’re going to be faced with adversities in life. This was a pretty big one. I just relied on my hard work to get through it.”

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