Brittney Griner Named AP Comeback Player Of The Year After Russia Arrest


Brittney Griner, the talented center for the Phoenix Mercury, has recently been awarded the AP Comeback Player of the Year, marking yet another achievement in her remarkable career. This recognition comes almost a year after her return to the United States from a traumatic experience in Russia.

Key Takeaway

Brittney Griner’s triumphant comeback after a challenging experience in Russia has earned her the AP Comeback Player of the Year honors. Her resilience and exceptional performance on the basketball court serve as an inspiration to athletes and fans alike.

Griner’s Triumph

The Phoenix Mercury proudly announced Griner as the recipient of the prestigious award on Tuesday. Alongside her, Lynx forward Napheesa Collier was also honored for her exceptional comeback after taking a break from the sport to give birth to her first child. The recognition for both players underscores their resilience, determination, and unwavering passion for basketball.

A Challenging Time

Griner’s journey to reclaim her position in the basketball world was not without challenges. In February 2022, she was arrested in Russia after authorities discovered hash oil in her luggage at an airport. Eventually, she received a nine-year prison sentence before being released as part of a prisoner exchange with Viktor Bout, an arms dealer.

A Remarkable Return

After returning to the United States, Griner wasted no time in making a triumphant comeback. Signing a one-year deal with the Phoenix Mercury, she quickly proved her worth on the court. Throughout the season, she showcased her exceptional skills, averaging an impressive 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. Despite facing some injuries and taking time off for her mental well-being, Griner’s passion and resilience propelled her forward.

A Season of Achievements

Griner’s stellar performance did not go unnoticed, as she was selected for her ninth WNBA All-Star team. Reflecting on her journey, she expressed her gratitude for how far she has come, stating, “I tell you one thing, it’s not good being at the end of the standings, but it’s better than where I was a year go, that’s for sure.”

AP Awards and What’s Next

In addition to Griner’s honor, the AP Awards also recognized other standout performers in the WNBA. Breanna Stewart was named AP Player of the Year, Alysha Clark won Sixth Woman of the Year, Stephanie White received Coach of the Year, and Aliyah Boston was crowned Rookie of the Year. It’s important to note that these awards are separate from the WNBA’s official accolades, which will be announced during the organization’s postseason.