PHOENIX - The Phoenix Mercury is launching its fifth Heart and Sole shoe drive honoring Brittney Griner who is currently jailed in Russia on suspicion of marijuana crimes.
This year, the initiative is taking place in all 12 WNBA markets.
Founded in 2016, Griner's Heart and Sole shoe drive partners with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to collect and distribute shoes to those in need. Mercury President Vince Kozar says in her absence, it's their duty to do good in her name.
Griner was detained at a Moscow airport nearly two months ago, and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert says it's more important now than ever to emulate her spirit of helping others.
"The activations we will do, the Mercury will lead, are intended to remind us of BG's sprit of giving and do the work she'd be doing if she were here and certainly the work she will join us in when she returns," Engelbert said.
The league is doing everything they can to try and bring Griner home safe and secure, Engelbert said.
The show drives have helped nearly 2,000 people in the Valley, and now her mission continues on.
"There is so much energy, there is so many people don't know what to do with and don't know how to help and this is an opportunity to give people something to do to mobilize a cause that is important to her," Kozar said.
You can donate new or gently used shoes of all sizes throughout the season at Mercury home games at the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix.
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