February 27, 2024

PHOENIX — Mercury center Brittney Griner received the season-long WNBA Cares Community Assist Award on Friday for her work in trying to get wrongful detainees oversees returned to the United States and for helping marginalized communities in Phoenix.

Griner was recognized for her work with Bring Our Families Home, a campaign that helps spread awareness about wrongfully detained Americans around the world in hopes of helping them return, and the BG Heart and Sole Shoe Drive, which Griner began in 2016 and which brought in almost 3,000 pairs of shoes this season.

“I’m grateful to receive this recognition from the WNBA but even more grateful to the X-Factor fans, fans all around the league, and our Phoenix Mercury organization for working together this year to make a difference through my Heart and Sole Shoe Drive and Bring Our Families Home,” Griner said in a statement. “I know the opportunity, privilege and responsibility I have to make a difference in the lives of others, and I’ll always remain committed to that.”

Griner is the second consecutive Mercury player to earn the award. Forward Brianna Turner won it last season.

Griner hosted friends and families of wrongfully detained Americans at both home and road games for the Mercury this season. The Mercury also had the logo for Bring Our Families Home on their court this season.

The Mercury set up a letter-writing station at all their home games this season as part of Griner’s partnership with Bring Our Families Home. Fans were able to write handwritten notes to detained Americans overseas and to elected officials. The letter-writing campaign spread around the league, and other teams set up stations at their home games against Phoenix.

Griner won the monthly WNBA Cares Community Assist Award in June, as well.

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