Brittney Griner returns to the WNBA following Russian detention It's a miracle.

In Los Angeles Brittney Griner made her formal return to professional basketball on Friday night.

Less than six months prior, she was imprisoned in Russia and worried she might never return home.

In the Phoenix Mercury's 94-71 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on WNBA opening night, Griner, 32, led the club with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, six rebounds, and four blocks.

It was a significant step in her recovery following a terrifying experience that comprised almost ten months of detention.

Before the game, Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard told the media, "It's a miracle that she's here."

Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, who were present at Arena, hugged Griner just before the game started. 

Other notables included Pau Gasol and Michael Cooper, who played for the Lakers, Billie Jean King, Magic Johnson, and Dawn Staley.

10,396 enthusiastic spectators, many of whom were wearing "We Are BG" pins in support of Griner, gave her a prolonged and raucous standing ovation.