Brittney Griner, a brilliant career overshadowed by a nine-year prison sentence

American basketball player Brittney Griner, who has had a brilliant career in the sport of basketball, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for drug possession and smuggling by a Moscow court

Griner was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on February 17, 2022, although her arrest only became known on March 5, when cartridges containing cannabis oil for vaping were found in her luggage.

On August 4, she was found guilty and sentenced to 9 years in prison for drug possession and smuggling.

Selected number 1 in the 2013 WNBA draft

The power forward for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and Russian team Ekaterinburg stands at 2.03 metres tall.

Born in Houston, Texas, on October 18, 1990, she was a member of the Baylor University team in Texas, where she played from 2009 to 2013.

She was selected number 1 in the 2013 WNBA draft by Phoenix Mercury, the only American professional team she has played for since then and where she was one of their top players.

She won the WNBA title with them in 2014 and was a finalist in 2021, when they were beaten by Chicago Sky.

On 8 occasions, the last being in 2022 in a symbolic manner, she has been included in the WNBA All-Star team.

Assaulted and stabbed while playing in China

Outside the United States, she played for China’s Beijing Great Wall in 2014, during which time she suffered a serious mishap on November 3 of that year when she was assaulted and stabbed shortly after training with her team.

Since 2015 he has been playing for the Russian club UGMK Ekaterinburg, the strongest team in European basketball, with three Euroleague titles to their name.

The team is coached by Spaniard Miguel Mendez who is also national team coach.

A key player in the US team, she won the world championship in Turkey in October 2014, when they beat Spain, and she was included in the team of the tournament.

Again in Tenerife (Spain) in September 2018, after beating Australia in the final, she was voted best player of that crucial match.

He is also a double Olympic gold medallist; at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

Came out as gay in 2013

The player went public about her sexual orientation in 2013 in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine and has been married to Cherelle Watson (Griner) since 2019.

She had previously been linked to Glory Johnson, also a WNBA player, but the relationship had a tumultuous end that went to court and both were suspended for seven games in 2015 for domestic violence.