ESPN to televise Brittney Griner’s 1st games back on court with Mercury

Mar 8, 2023, 6:30 PM
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during Game Three of the 2021 WNBA semifinals at Desert ...
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during Game Three of the 2021 WNBA semifinals at Desert Financial Arena on October 03, 2021 in Tempe, Arizona. The Mercury defeated the Aces 87-60. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Brittney Griner’s return to basketball for the Phoenix Mercury this season will be aired on national TV, the team announced on Wednesday.

Griner — a seven-time All-Star — is back with Phoenix on a reported one-year deal after she was detained for nearly 10 months in Russia last year.

ESPN will broadcast her first two games back, including her home return at Footprint Center.

Phoenix opens its season in Los Angeles against the Sparks on May 19 and returns home on May 21 to face the Chicago Sky.

The Mercury announced that ESPN will also broadcast a July 25 matchup at the Atlanta Dream and a Sept. 10 game at the Las Vegas Aces.

The Aces matchup is the regular-season finale.

Other networks, such as CBS and NBA TV, will announce their broadcast slates at a later date.

Griner was arrested for having hash-like cannabis oil in her backpack at a Russian airport, which led to her 294-day detainment. She returned to the U.S. in December after a prisoner swap.

She worked out on a basketball court in front of cameras on Feb. 23 for the first time.

Griner averaged 20.5 points with a career-best 9.5 rebounds per game in 2021, and Phoenix reached the WNBA Finals. The Mercury fell to the Sky in the series, 3-1.

Phoenix lost in the opening round of the playoffs last year, a difficult campaign for the team with Griner in Russia. The Mercury, WNBA and NBA kept Griner in the forefront of minds, highlighting the phrase “We are BG.”

Phoenix Mercury

Destiny Slocum #24 of the Las Vegas Aces looks to pass around Bria Hartley #14 of the Phoenix Mercu...
Wills Rice

Mercury add guards Slocum, Sutton to training camp contracts

The Phoenix Mercury announced Thursday the team has signed guards Destiny Slocum and Sug Sutton to training camp contracts.
17 days ago
Guard Shey Peddy #11 of the Phoenix Mercury dribbles the ball during the fourth quarter against the...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Mercury re-sign guard Shey Peddy

The Phoenix Mercury announced on Sunday morning they have re-signed guard Shey Peddy, the latest returnee coming back to Phoenix in free agency.
29 days ago
From left to right: Jerry Colangelo, Dan Bickley, Michael Bidwill and Vince Marotta on Tuesday, Feb...
Kevin Zimmerman

The Cardinals bring fresh voices and more Newsmaker Week 2023 highlights

Bickley & Marotta welcomed 25 guests representing Arizona's teams and events to their show on Tuesday through Friday. So what did we learn?
1 month ago
Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner (42) shoots over Seattle Storm's Mercedes Russell in the first ha...
Arizona Sports

Mercury’s Brittney Griner works out in front of media Thursday

For the first time since her release from Russian custody, Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was playing basketball in front of cameras.
1 month ago
Phoenix Mercury GM Jim Pitman in the Arizona Sports studio on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. (Jeremy Sch...
Kevin Zimmerman

GM: Mercury prepared for heavy media coverage this upcoming season

A still image of Brittney Griner back on the Mercury's practice court Wednesday drew nearly 1 million views on Twitter alone.
1 month ago
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury celebrates with Mercury President Vince Kozar after the ...
Arizona Sports

Mercury re-sign Brittney Griner on reported 1-year deal

The Phoenix Mercury officially re-signed center Brittney Griner and await her return after she missed 2022 while in Russian custody.
1 month ago
ESPN to televise Brittney Griner’s 1st games back on court with Mercury