Mercury fans hoping for Brittney Griner's return

Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 01:37:23-04

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Mercury held their first preseason game of 2022 on Thursday.

However, they started the year missing one of their star players — Brittney Griner.

Griner was detained in mid-February when she was allegedly caught traveling from Russia with vape cartridges with cannabis oil.

"Our hope is that she's back tomorrow," said Mercury President Vince Kozar. "We remain hopeful this will come to resolution soon."

Kozar said he had faith in the people working on getting Griner back.

Meantime, calls to bring Griner home have been renewed after the White House swapped prisoners with Russia to bring back Marine veteran Trevor Reed.

Fans told ABC15 they're also hoping Griner is able to rejoin the team.

Many wore shirts expressing their thoughts to Thursday's game.

"Because I've been worried about her being there," said Susan Miller.

Shannon Mandell-Snell shared that same sentiment.

"I think it's more of a hostage situation but just hoping that BG comes home soon and we can have a good season with her."

The team also continued a shoe drive started by Griner in 2016.

The BG's Heart and Sole shoe drive kicked off for the fifth time on Thursday and will run through the end of the season.

"She just wanted to help people," said Kozar.

"And even though she's not here right now, we wanted to make sure we kept her top of mind and do that work that she would be doing if she was here," he said.