NATIONAL NEWS

Brittney Griner working on memoir about Russian captivity

Apr 11, 2023, 9:00 AM

FILE - Brittney Griner appears on stage at the 54th NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb....

FILE - Brittney Griner appears on stage at the 54th NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 25, 2023. Griner is working on a memoir that is scheduled for spring 2024. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

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 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 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.

Russia has been a popular playing destination for top WNBA athletes in the offseason, with some earning salaries over $1 million — nearly quadruple what they can make as a base WNBA salary. Despite pleading guilty to possessing canisters with cannabis oil, a result of what she said was hasty packing, Griner still faced trial under Russian law.

Griner’s memoir is currently untitled and will eventually be published in a young adult edition. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In Tuesday’s press statement, Knopf said that the book would be “intimate and moving” and that Griner would disclose “in vivid detail her harrowing experience of her wrongful detainment (as classified by the State Department) and the difficulty of navigating the byzantine Russian legal system in a language she did not speak.”

“Griner also describes her stark and surreal time living in a foreign prison and the terrifying aspects of day-to-day life in a women’s penal colony,” the announcement reads. “At the heart of the book, Griner highlights the personal turmoil she experienced during the near ten-month ordeal and the resilience that carried her through to the day of her return to the United States last December.”

Griner, 32, is a 6-foot-9 two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time All-American at Baylor University, a prominent advocate for pay equity for women athletes and the first openly gay athlete to reach an endorsement deal with Nike. She is the author of one previous book, “In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court,” published in 2014.

In February, she re-signed with the Mercury and will play in its upcoming season, which runs from May through September.

National News

Associated Press

Pursuit of Milwaukee carjacking suspects ends with police shooting 2 teens in stolen vehicle

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A police pursuit of carjacking suspects in Milwaukee ended Thursday with police firing into the vehicle and injuring two teens, one of whom was pregnant and lost her baby, Milwaukee police said. Officers tried to stop the stolen vehicle just before 2:30 p.m. on Interstate 43 north of Milwaukee. The pursuit ended […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

2 crop dusting airplanes collided in southern Idaho, killing 1 pilot and severely injuring the other

ARCO, Idaho (AP) — Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday and crashed to the ground, killing one of the pilots and leaving the other with life-threatening injuries, officials said. The crash was reported at about 12:30 p.m. in an area covered by sage and grass near the airport […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Appeals court panel refuses to delay Trump ally Steve Bannon’s 4-month contempt prison sentence

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court panel on Thursday rejected longtime Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon’s bid to stay out of prison while he fights his conviction for defying a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the U.S. Capitol attack. Bannon is supposed to report to prison by July 1 to begin serving […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Gold bars and Sen. Bob Menendez’s curiosity about their price takes central role at bribery trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors showed jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez ’s trial on Thursday multiple instances when he researched the value of gold as he tried to help a New Jersey businessman who authorities say bribed him with gold and cash. The evidence about the Democrat’s online searches was prominently displayed to a New […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware fails in Senate

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware failed to win approval in the state Senate on Thursday after narrowly clearing the House earlier this year, but it could come back next week. The legislation failed in the Democrat-led Senate in a 9-9 tie after three members of the Democratic caucus spoke […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Amtrak trains suspended from Philadelphia to New Haven by circuit breaker malfunction

NEW YORK (AP) — Amtrak trains were temporarily suspended Thursday afternoon from Philadelphia to New Haven, Connecticut, by a circuit breaker malfunction, the national rail service said. The technical issue led to a widespread loss of power on the tracks between Penn Station in New York City and Union Station in Newark, New Jersey at […]

13 hours ago

Brittney Griner working on memoir about Russian captivity