Brittney Griner were given emotional briefly.
Speaking to newshounds for the primary time since a just about 10-month detention in Russia on drug-related fees, the WNBA famous person needed to take a second to compose herself after being requested about her resiliency in the course of the ordeal.
“I’m no stranger to hard times,” Griner stated Thursday from the foyer of the Footprint Center, house of her new staff the Phoenix Mercury and the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. “Just digging deep. 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.”
Griner’s first news conference drew more than 100 people, including Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, members of the Mercury organization and his wife, Cherelle.
Griner was arrested in February 2022 at a Moscow airport after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. She later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
She said her abilities as an athlete helped her cope. “I know this sounds so small but dying in practice and just hard workouts, you find a way to just grind it out, just put your head down and keep going and keep moving forward,” she stated.
“You can never stand still and that was my thing; just never be still, never get too focused on the now and looking forward to what’s to come.”
After just about 10 months of strained negotiations between Washington and Moscow, Griner used to be exchanged within the United Arab Emirates for Russian fingers broker Viktor Bout on 8 December.
Griner stored a low profile following her go back to the USA whilst adjusting to lifestyles again at house, out of doors of appearances on the Super Bowl, the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open and an MLK Day tournament in Phoenix.
But she stated she by no means doubted she can be again taking part in professionally once more.
“I believe in me,” Griner stated. “I consider in what I will do. I do know if I put my thoughts to it I will reach any purpose.
She added: “I’m now not looking to sound big-headed, however I guess on me. I’ve all of the assets right here to lend a hand me get to that time the place I will play, and it used to be no query to be again within the WNBA, again in Phoenix taking part in.”
Griner also said her management team has been in touch with the family of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter detained in Russia who has become a symbol of attacks on the press in Russia.
“No one will have to be in the ones prerequisites,” she said.
She added: “You’re in foreign territory and you’re in unknown waters. So there’s a lot that we might know that they didn’t know so there’s been a lot of communication between both teams.”