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Here's everything that happened during Brittney Griner's big week

It's been a big week for Mercury star Brittney Griner, as she made appearances in Washington, D.C., New York City and began training camp in Phoenix.

PHOENIX — It has been a big five days for Phoenix Mercury star center Brittney Griner as she has crisscrossed the United States, making appearances in Washington, D.C., New York City and multiple times back home in Phoenix in between. 

Griner's travels started in our nation's capital on Saturday, April 29, as she made an appearance at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. That night, Griner met with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at the dinner and was honored during the President's remarks when he called for the release of Americans who are wrongfully detained abroad, as Griner was in Russia.  

The next day, April 30, Griner was back home in the Valley for her first official day back with the Mercury in 10 months, as the team started training camp ahead of their 2023 season. That morning, Griner spoke about making an appearance at the Correspondents' dinner. 

"It was awesome," Griner said. "I heard about it, I didn't really know too much about it until I actually got there. And it was amazing. POTUS has some good jokes." 

In his remarks, Biden said he wants to go with his granddaughter to see Griner play and Griner said she would love it if that would happen.  

"I'm gonna hold him to it," Griner said. "I want to see him here in Phoenix, not just at the DC game. I want him to come down here to the Valley. So we'll make it happen. We'll shut down everything." 

Griner also talked about what it meant for her to be back with her team on Sunday, and she admitted that she is happy with where her game is at after missing a whole season, even though she knows that she is not quite at her best. 

"Feel good, felt good being back," Griner said. It's everything I wanted it to be. Am I where I want to be? No, because, you know, last time I was with my team in Chicago in the Finals. And as much as I want to be finals BG right now, it's not the case. But I feel like I'm at a good spot to start training camp. I didn't fall out, they didn't have to get a stretcher or oxygen or anything so I guess we're doing pretty good."   

Griner added that she will be ready to play for the Mercury's first game against the Los Angeles Sparks at Crypto.com arena on May 21, but there's another game she is looking forward to even more. 

"We're gonna be ready, we're gonna get going," Griner said. "It'll be fun. I'm sure it's gonna be just a lot. Now just being back, being back at it, (I'm) looking forward to our (first) home game, though. I mean, every game matters, but I'm really looking forward to that home game." 

Griner then explained that the first home game would be emotional for her as she had prepared herself for the long haul, after being sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison, before being freed in a prisoner swap earlier this year.  

"It's like the thing that you love most, and you don't know if you're gonna have it, or if it's going to be completely gone, and not the way that you want it to be gone, not on your own terms," Griner said. "So just being here right now, it means everything. I actually had to work out at the arena downtown, and I walked in on the court, I was the first one on the court, and they had the Phoenix Mercury banners going and everything. That was emotional, like I walked on the court, and kind of started to break down a little bit seeing it, and it was just like wow, I'm on our court. So that's why I'm saying that first home game, that's going to be a good one. Emotional but really good, though."  

The Mercury's other star, guard Diana Taurasi, who is heading into her 19th WNBA season, also talked about Griner and what it means to have her back on the court. 

"Firstly, I'm happy she's back," Taurasi said. "I'm happy she's back on the court. Happy to see her. The smile on her face. And now it's time to do a lot of work. There's a lot of work to be done." 

Taurasi added that her experience living in Russia for a decade led her to believe that Griner would not be back so quickly, but Taurasi is happy to have Griner back in the locker room.  

"She's easygoing, nothing ever really gets BG that low," Taurasi said. "It's really nice (to have her) back here, but like I said, (there's) a lot of work to be done." 

Mercury guard Sophie Cunningham said this was not the first time she has been on the court with Griner since her return from Russia, but that it has been great having Griner back with team. 

"Just to have her vibe, her smile, her warmth, and her experience, it's a total game-changer," Cunningham said. "She's the best in the league, in the world in fact. So just to have that presence back was awesome." 

Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard said Griner being back on the court is a miracle. 

"I was just so happy to see her today," Nygaard said. "(I) welcomed her back today (and) almost cried. She's great. She's great energy. She's a dominant player. She's unbelievable. And she also has such a great spirit about her." 

Nygaard added that even with the time Griner has missed, she still looks like the same player on the court. 

"She's one of the most dominant players in the world, even with 10 months off, she's one of the best players that anyone has ever seen," Nygaard said. "We're glad she's on our team."

Griner's travels continued after the first day of training camp, as she attended the Met Gala in New York City with her wife, Cherelle.  

And after all of that traveling, Griner was back home in Phoenix on Wednesday morning for the Mercury's media day at the Footprint Center and spoke about attending the Gala. 

"It was an honor to be there," Griner said. "We were thrilled when we found out. We had always watched it (and) to be a part of it, everything that goes behind it, it was amazing. Calvin Klein did an amazing job on our outfits. They were amazing to work with, really took good care of us. It was magical just meeting everybody, seeing all the different stars that were there, it was pretty dope." 

Griner said the favorite stars she got a chance to meet and talk with at the Met Gala were R&B star Usher, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and former Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade. 

And after everything she has done over the past few days, Griner said she is looking forward to taking a nap.  

"For the Correspondents' dinner in D.C., (we) flew out, got back to Phoenix around 4 a.m., woke up around 9, came to the first day of training camp, flew back out, back to New York afterwards, did the Met Gala, came back in around like 1, 2 (am) for the third day of practice. It's been a whirlwind. I have a lot of respect for the stars that do that. That is not me. I don't how they do it but it was amazing. Two big honors to be able to go and be there, but it was a long couple days. (I'll be) taking a big nap today."   

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