Before and After Brittney Griner: Changes Wrought by Russian Ordeal

Brittney Griner has been a dominant force in the WNBA since being drafted first overall back in 2013. Her towering height, physical prowess, and sheer determination have made her a player to be reckoned with on the court. However, her recent experience playing basketball abroad in Russia has led to some dramatic changes in her game.

Before the start of the 2019 season, Griner and the Phoenix Mercury faced off against the Los Angeles Sparks in their season opener. Despite her impressive career statistics, Griner struggled during the game, only scoring six points before fouling out. It quickly became clear that the ordeal of playing overseas had taken a toll on her game.

Griner's time in Russia was marked by hostile crowds, language barriers, and a different style of play. It was a far cry from the comfort and familiarity of playing in the WNBA. In addition, Griner faced personal struggles, including coming out as gay and being estranged from her father.

Despite these challenges, Griner persevered. Returning to Phoenix, she began to draw on the lessons she had learned abroad. She worked closely with her coach, Sandy Brondello