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Brittney Griner speaks to reporters for first time since returning to Phoenix Mercury

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Now that she is back on her home court, preparing for the upcoming WNBA season, Brittney Griner talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since returning to play with the Phoenix Mercury.  “I’m no stranger to hard times,” Griner said, fighting back tears.

Asked how she became so resilient after spending nearly 10 months in a Russian prison on drug charges, she said: “Just grind it out.

Just put your head down and just keep going and moving forward.”  In a wide-ranging news conference that attracted more media and dignitaries than a typical practice, Griner spoke about her imprisonment in Russia, her appreciation for those who supported her and her wife during those terrible months and what’s next for her: A memoir about how she survived the experience she called “unfathomable.” “I’m never playing overseas again,” the two-time gold medalist said, making only one exception for a return to the Olympics. “The only time I would want to would be to represent the USA.”  Arizona Gov.

Katie Hobbs, who signed employment protections for LGTBQ workers and contractors into law on her first day in office, joined Griner’s wife Cherelle and members of the Mercury organization in giving the WNBA center a standing ovation.

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