WNBA star Brittney Griner said she is ready to share the story of her detainment in Russia. She is currently writing a book expected to be released in the spring of 2024.
Griner spentafter custom services at a Russian airport found marijuana concentrate in her luggage on Feb. 17, 2022. She had arrived in Moscow to rejoin UMMC Ekaterinburg -- the team she played on during the WNBA offseason since 2014.
"That day was the beginning of an unfathomable period in my life which only now am I ready to share," Griner wrote on an Instagram post.
This will not be her first book, as Griner published "In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court" in 2014. However, this book will share details of her detainment that hadn't been publicly talked about before.
"After an incredibly challenging 10 months in detainment, I am grateful to have been rescued and to be home," she wrote. "Readers will hear my story and understand why I'm so thankful for the outpouring of support from people across the world."
In the press statement sent to the media on Tuesday, publishing house Alfred A. Knopf said Griner would disclose "in vivid detail her harrowing experience of her wrongful detainment (as classified by the State Department) and the difficulty of navigating the byzantine Russian legal system in a language she did not speak."
Griner was originally found guilty by a Russian court and sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges. In November, she was moved to a penal colony in the Russian region of Mordovia.
In December, she was finally able to return to the United States after the Biden administration negotiated a one-for-one prisoner swap involving convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Griner missed the whole 2022 WNBA season, but she is ready to play for the Phoenix Mercury again in 2023. However, she is not going to forget about her experience any time soon, and she wants to use her voice to remind people that she was not the only American stuck overseas.
"By writing this book, I also hope to raise awareness surrounding other Americans wrongfully detained abroad such as Paul Whelan, Evan Gershkovich, Emad Shargi, Airan Berry, Shahab Dalili, Luke Denman, Eyvin Hernandez, Majd Kamalmaz, Jerrel Kenemore, Kai Li, Siamak Namazi, Austin Tice, Mark Swidan and Morad Tahbaz," she wrote.
Griner and the Mercury will tip off their 2023 WNBA season against the Los Angeles Sparks on May 19.