On Friday night, Brittney Griner made her official return to the WNBA, playing her first game in 18 months after missing all of last season due to her detainment in Russia. Her nationally-televised return to the court was full of celebration, and United States Vice President Kamala Harris was even in attendance for the momentous occasion.
Before Friday’s game, Kamala Harris met with both teams, sharing a message of encouragement and thanking them for all they did to support Brittney Griner during her imprisonment in Russia.
“Thank you for all that you did in supporting Brittney,” Harris told both teams in the locker room. “I know that was rough and that was so difficult for you. Team is a team and it’s family.”
Thank you @VP Kamala Harris for everything you and the Administration did to bring our sister home.
And thanks for the pregame speech! 💜 pic.twitter.com/SzuFrpMnP2
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) May 20, 2023
Harris also spoke to the team about how important it was that they “kept her story alive” while she was imprisoned in Russia.
Harris’ message to the teams quickly went viral on social media with plenty of people giving their reactions.
— Jesse Morrison (@morrscode_) May 20, 2023
The VP has landed!!!! https://t.co/5mG7mggrmY
— womenshoopsworld (@hoopism) May 20, 2023
She needs to suit up. https://t.co/25GyeWkDdY
— Mehmet Okurrrt (@Natural_OneDurr) May 20, 2023
— #BidenHarris2024 (@Angel2daMax) May 20, 2023
This might be the delay…and I love it…now let's play some basketball! https://t.co/GG0M9YTrUb
— Rechelle Jones (@rdirtyredjones) May 20, 2023
Even though her Phoenix Mercury lost their season-opening showdown with the Los Angeles Sparks, she made the most of her return to the court, leading the team with 18 points while grabbing six rebounds and tallying four blocked shots in 25 minutes.