The 2023 WNBA season starts on May 19, and fans will quickly get to see Brittney Griner in action as she suits up for Phoenix Mercury.

Phoenix is set to play in the season opener against the Los Angeles Sparks, with the showdown slated to be aired on ESPN and ABC. Griner is expected to join the team in the trip to LA and play in her first game since her detainment in Russia, per ESPN.

Griner spent 10 months in Russian prison and was even transferred to a Russian penal colony after she was arrested for bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil–a substance banned in the nation. She was eventually returned to the United States in a prisoner exchange last December 2022, with the US giving convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout to Russia in return.

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As she works her way back to her normal life and into playing basketball again, Brittney Griner signed a one-year deal worth $165,000 with the Mercury in February. She has since been spotted working out and getting back into game shape after almost a year without basketball.

Griner is clearly ecstatic about her return, even sending a rather NSFW message for her teammates on the day she signed with the Mercury.

Sure enough, a lot of fans are also excited to see Griner back in action. Her fellow athletes and plenty of sports fans watched how her Russia situation unfolded, and so there’s plenty of reason to be happy that she’s finally here in the US doing what she loves.