Phoenix Mercury fan honors Brittney Griner at Footprint Center

A view of sneakers and toiletries donated by fans to support Brittney Griner's Heart and Sole Shoe Drive. (Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Phoenix Mercury fan Zariyah Odom has spent the entire WNBA season honoring star Brittney Griner.

The 12-year-old has been collecting shoes for Griner’s Heart & Sole Shoe Drive throughout the 2022 campaign in a show of support for the Mercury center, who has been wrongfully detained in Russia since February.

Odom continued to honor Griner on Friday night, when she donned a BG 42 jersey at the team’s penultimate regular-season game. The Mercury bested the visiting Wings 86-74 to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The team posted a video Friday on social media chronicling Odom’s endeavor. The young fan was inspired by a speech Mercury star Sophie Cunningham gave about Griner’s shoe drive during the team’s home opener. Odom set a goal to amass 150 pairs of shoes in two weeks to donate to the Heart & Sole Shoe Drive.

Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison after being found guilty on drug charges following her arrest in a Moscow area airport in February. The United States government is currently in talks with Russia to negotiate a prisoner swap to bring Griner home.

The Mercury has continued to honor Griner’s work with the Phoenix Rescue Mission, holding events to promote the shoe drive and collecting 2,000 pairs to date.

“I look forward to Brittney being back so I can donate these shoes to her foundation and still keep collecting as many shoes as I can for the less fortunate,” Odom said.