Mercury center Brittney Griner receives WNBA Cares Community Assist Award

Oct 28, 2023, 6:10 AM

Brittney Griner is joined by Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs to reveal a mural supporting Bring Our Famili...

Brittney Griner is joined by Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs to reveal a mural supporting Bring Our Families Home. (Colton Krolak/KTAR News)

(Colton Krolak/KTAR News)

The WNBA announced that Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner earned the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award for the 2023 season, the league announced Friday. The award recognizes her part in helping bring home other wrongful detainees overseas following her safe return from Russia in December 2022.

“I’m grateful to receive this recognition from the WNBA but even more grateful to the X-Factor fans, fans all around the league, and our Phoenix Mercury organization for working together to make a difference through my Heart and Sole Shoe Drive and Bring Our Families Home,” Griner said in a WNBA press release. “I know the opportunity, privilege and responsibility I have to make a difference in the lives of others, and I’ll always remain committed to that.”

Bring Our Families Home is an initiative comprised of the families of wrongful detainees overseas and works to spread awareness of their situations in an effort to safely bring them home. Launched in April, the Mercury used in-game PSAs and social media content to keep the stories in the light.

The BG Heart & Sole Shoe Drive, which Griner founded in 2016, works to support unhoused individuals in the Phoenix area, providing new and lightly used shoes to those in need. The initiative successfully distributed nearly 3,000 pairs of shoes, in addition to other items like clothing and hygiene products.

In recognition of her efforts, the WNBA will donate $20,000 to be split between the two charities.

Griner is the Mercury’s second recipient of the award in as many seasons after forward Brianna Turner received it last season for her help with women, people impacted by gun violence, the LGBTQ+ community and unhoused people.

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