Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner: A Brave Journey to Prioritize Mental Health

In recent news, the WNBA star Brittney Griner made a courageous decision to take a break from basketball and focus on her mental health. The Phoenix Mercury, in an official announcement on Saturday, revealed that the All-Star player would not be traveling with the team for their upcoming games in the Midwest. Instead, she chose to prioritize her well-being, and the organization wholeheartedly supports her in this endeavor.

An Unexpected Absence

On Sunday, as the Phoenix Mercury faced off against the Chicago Sky, Brittney Griner was notably absent from the court. This decision came as a surprise to many fans and followers of the game. The Mercury cited the reason for her absence as a need to focus on her mental health. This brave step highlights the growing awareness of mental health challenges faced by athletes and the importance of taking time to address them.

A Remarkable Journey Back to the Court

To fully understand the significance of Brittney Griner’s decision, we need to revisit her journey back to the WNBA. Back in May, the talented six-foot-nine center returned to the league after facing a challenging period in her life. She had been detained in Russia for nearly a year, which undoubtedly took a toll on her mental well-being.

The ordeal began when she was arrested in Russia and spent close to ten months detained in the country. Fortunately, she was freed in a prisoner exchange in December. However, the emotional and psychological impact of the experience could not be overlooked. Despite the adversity, Griner demonstrated incredible strength and resilience.

Resilience and Determination

Before her return to the WNBA, Brittany Griner openly spoke about resiliency and how it played a vital role in her life. She acknowledged that everyone faces adversities at some point, and her detention in Russia was undeniably a significant challenge. Yet, she relied on her hard work and determination to get through it.

Griner’s impressive performance on the court during the current season attests to her tenacity. Averaging over 18 points and six rebounds per game, she has proven herself to be an invaluable asset to the Phoenix Mercury. Her dedication to the sport and her team is unquestionable, but she also recognizes the importance of taking care of her mental well-being.

Embracing Support and Taking Time

Brittney Griner’s decision to prioritize her mental health sends a powerful message to the world of sports and beyond. As athletes, they are often taught to push through challenges, grind it out, and persevere. However, Griner’s choice demonstrates that it’s equally essential to recognize when one needs help and take time to address personal well-being.

The support she receives from her team and the organization is crucial. The Mercury has made it clear that they stand by Griner’s decision and will work together with her to determine a suitable timeline for her return to the court. This unwavering support is commendable and sets a positive example for other sports organizations and athletes to follow.


In conclusion, Brittney Griner’s decision to step away from basketball to focus on her mental health is a courageous and commendable move. It highlights the importance of prioritizing mental well-being and seeking help when needed, even in the competitive world of professional sports. As she takes this time for herself, the sports community rallies behind her, showing that athletes’ health, both physical and mental, is of utmost importance.


  1. When did Brittney Griner return to the WNBA? Brittney Griner made her return to the WNBA in May.
  2. What led to her decision to take a break from basketball? Brittney Griner chose to take a break from basketball to focus on her mental health.
  3. How long was Brittney Griner detained in Russia? Brittney Griner spent nearly ten months detained in Russia.
  4. What are Brittney Griner’s season statistics in the current WNBA season? In the current season, Brittney Griner is averaging over 18 points and six rebounds per game.
  5. How has the Phoenix Mercury shown support for Brittney Griner’s decision? The Phoenix Mercury has fully supported Brittney Griner’s decision to focus on her mental health and will work with her on a timeline for her return.

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