Brittney Griner was reduced to tears during her first press conference since she got out of Russian prison.

The 32-year-old WNBA star got emotional when she saw a Phoenix Mercury reporter for the first time since she was released in 2022.

Since being released from detention in Russia in December, the athlete had not been able to talk to reporters or the media until the press conference.

Aw, so good to see you,

Brittney Griner said after recognizing the reporter in the crowd. Both of them were having trouble speaking through their tears. When the reporter asked Brittney Griner how she had the courage to tell her story, she had tears in her eyes.

See, you’re crying and now you made me cry,

Griner responded.


Brittney Griner gets emotional at her first press conference after getting out of prison:

You know, I’m no stranger to hard times. Just digging deep honestly, you’re going to be faced with adversities throughout your life – this was a pretty big one,

she thought back on the 10 months she spent in Russian custody. The basketball player also said that she “relied” on her “hard work” to get through the situation.

I know this sounds so small, but you know, dying in practice and just hard workouts, you find a way to just grind it out. Put your head down and keep moving,

she added saying that she never stopped moving while she was in a Russian prison.

That was my thing…never get too focused on the now.

Later, Brittney Griner also talked about what she had learned since her first arrest in February 2022.

Life is short. Things can change at the stroke of a match. Appreciate every moment. Don’t take it for granted, but it’s so true. Once something like this happens to you, when people say that it hits home, it hits closer to you,

she admitted, per People.

Brittney Griner

Griner did tell reporters, though, that she would not play basketball overseas again.

I’m never going overseas to play again unless I’m representing my country at the Olympics. If I make that team, that would be the only time I would leave the US soil, and that’s just to represent the USA.


I’ll say this, the whole reason a lot of us go over is the pay gap. A lot of us go over there to make an income, to support our families, to support ourselves,

Griner explained that she only played in international leagues outside of the United States during the basketball offseason to make money since men’s basketball players make a lot more.