“Griner Earns WNBA Community Assist Award for Advocacy in Wrongful Detainees and Homelessness”
Phoenix Mercury standout Brittney Griner has been honored with the WNBA’s season-long Community Assist Award for her impactful efforts, as announced by the league on Friday. Griner’s commendation stems from her dedicated work aiding wrongful detainees abroad and contributing to homelessness initiatives in Phoenix. This accolade marks the second consecutive recognition for the Mercury, following Brianna Turner’s acknowledgment last season.
Expressing gratitude, Griner stated in a press release, “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.” She emphasized her commitment to utilizing her influence for positive change.
Following a challenging period where Griner spent 294 days detained in Russia on drug charges, she returned to the United States in December 2022. Undeterred by the experience, Griner rejoined the Mercury for the current season, delivering standout performances with averages of 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks on an impressive 56.2% shooting. Her exceptional contributions earned her an All-Star starter position, marking her eighth appearance in the prestigious event.
Throughout the season, Griner collaborated with various organizations to support those in need domestically and internationally. She notably partnered with Bring Our Families Home, an organization dedicated to aiding Americans unjustly detained overseas. Griner and the Mercury hosted families of wrongful detainees at games, both in Phoenix and on the road, while also spearheading a letter-writing campaign urging officials to work towards bringing detainees home.
Additionally, Griner continued her philanthropic work through her organization, BG Heart & Sole Shoe Drive, founded in 2016. Teaming up with the Phoenix Rescue Mission, she collected over 3,000 pairs of shoes, along with shirts, backpacks, hats, and sanitary items for homeless individuals in the Phoenix area.
In recognition of Griner’s impactful endeavors, the WNBA has made a $20,000 donation, to be divided between Bring Our Families Home and the Phoenix Rescue Mission.