Brittney Griner’s story is very inspiring, but also very sad. The WNBA superstar is one of the most talented female basketball players in the world, yet she’s gone through a lot of trouble to get to that point.

From February 2022 until December of the same year, Griner was detained in Russia. One of the worst fears, the fear of being alone and forgotten, suddenly became a reality.

“The nightmare for me was definitely feeling like I was forgotten and that I was going to end up alone,” Griner said for ESPN in 2014.

Back in 2014, the talented player traveled to China to play basketball overseas. She felt homesick and alone as this was her first time playing professional basketball outside of the US. In an ESPN interview, Griner revealed her biggest nightmare.


Brittney Griner was afraid of ending up alone

The 6-foot-9 center was the first overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft. Griner has spent her entire WNBA career with the Phoenix Mercury, the team that selected her in the draft.

Unfortunately, salaries in the league are not very special. Even the best female players make slightly more than $200,000 per year, which is why many of them play basketball overseas.

Griner played overseas in China after her rookie season (Image via Getty Images)
Griner played overseas in China after her rookie season (Image via Getty Images)

The Phoenix Mercury star averaged 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game in her first season in the WNBA. During the 2013-14 off-season, she decided to play basketball in China and joined the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.

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Being in another country was tough for Griner. Due to this, she feated of being forgotten and ending up alone. The basketball star did not speak Chinese and couldn’t communicate with her teammates since they didn’t speak English.

Griner played in China shortly after joining the WNBA (Image via Getty Images)
Griner played in China shortly after joining the WNBA (Image via Getty Images)

Griner made less than $50,000 as a rookie, yet she received $600,000 for her four-month contract with the Golden Bulls.

The star had a lot of success in her inaugural season in China and was named the MVP of the 2014 WCBA All-Star Game.


Griner was alone, but not forgotten

The 6-foot-9 center returned to China in the 2014-15 season as well, playing for the Beijing Great Wall. After this, she took her talents to Russia, where she signed with UMMC Ekaterinburg.

The talented player has earned numerous accolades in Russia, winning back-to-back championships and several EuroLeague titles. Unfortunately, Brittney Griner eventually got detained and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Griner achieved a lot of success playing overseas (Image via Getty Images)
Griner achieved a lot of success playing overseas (Image via Getty Images)

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Griner was all alone during her detention. However, she was not forgotten as she received support from both athletes and fans. Thanks to all of this support, the WNBA star was released and returned home.



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