Brittney Griner’s story is very inspiring, but also very sad. The WNBA superstar is one of the most talented basketball players in the world, yet she has gone through a lot to get to this point.
From February 2022 to December of the same year, Griner was detained in Russia. One of the worst fears, the fear of being alone and forgotten, suddenly became a reality.
“The nightmare for me was definitely feeling like I was going to be forgotten and that I was going to end up alone,” Griner told ESPN in 2014.
In 2014, the talented player traveled to China to play basketball overseas. She felt homesick and alone as it was her first time playing professional basketball outside of the US. In an interview with ESPN, Griner revealed her biggest nightmare.
Brittney Griner was afraid she would end up alone
The 6-foot-9 center was the first-ever pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft. Griner spent her entire WNBA career with the Phoenix Mercury, who selected her in the draft.
Unfortunately, salaries in the league are not very special. Even the top female players earn a little over $200,000 a year, which is why many of them play basketball overseas.
The Phoenix Mercury star averaged 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in her first season in the WNBA. During the 2013–14 offseason, she decided to play basketball in China and joined the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.
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Being in another country was difficult for Griner. Thanks to this, she managed to be forgotten and ended up alone. The basketball star didn’t speak Chinese and couldn’t communicate with his teammates because they didn’t speak English.
Griner earned less than $50,000 as a rookie, she was still paid $600,000 for a four-month contract with the Golden Bulls.
The star had great success in his inaugural season in China and was named MVP of the 2014 WCBA All-Star Game.
Griner was alone, but not forgotten
The 6-foot-9 center also returned to China in the 2014-15 season, playing for the Great Wall in Beijing. She then took her talent to Russia where she signed a contract with UMMC Yekaterinburg.
The talented player earned numerous accolades in Russia, winning back-to-back championships and several Euroleague titles. Unfortunately, Brittney Griner was eventually apprehended and sentenced to nine years in prison.
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Griner was completely alone during her detention. However, she was not forgotten as she received support from both athletes and fans. Thanks to all this support, the WNBA star was fired and returned home.