Brittney Griner working on memoir about Russian captivity
April 11, 2023 -NEW YORK (AP) — Saying she is ready to share the “unfathomable” experience of being arrested and incarcerated in Russia, basketball star Brittney Griner is working on a memoir that is scheduled for spring 2024.
Griner was arrested last year at the airport in Moscow on drug-related charges and detained for nearly 10 months, much of that time in prison. Her plight unfolded at the same time Russia invaded Ukraine and further heightened tensions between Russia and the U.S., ending only after she was freed in exchange for the notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
A WNBA All-Star with the Phoenix Mercury, Griner had flown to Moscow in February 2022 to rejoin UMMC Ekaterinburg, a Russian women’s team she has played for in the off-season since 2014.
“That day (in February) was the beginning of an unfathomable period in my life which only now am I ready to share,” Griner said in a statement released Tuesday by Alfred A. Knopf.
“The primary reason I traveled back to Russia for work that day was because I wanted to make my wife, family, and teammates proud. After an incredibly challenging 10 months in detainment, I am grateful to have been rescued and to be home. Readers will hear my story and understand why I’m so thankful for the outpouring of support from people across the world.”
Griner added that she also hoped her book would raise awareness of other Americans detained overseas, including Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, arrested in Russia last month and accused of espionage; businessman Kai Li, serving a 10-year sentence in China on charges of revealing state secrets to the FBI; and Paul Whelan, a corporate security executive imprisoned in Russia on spying charges. Around the time Griner was released, Whelan criticized the U.S. government for not doing enough to help him.