Brittney Griner mentioned she’s “grateful” to be again in america and plans on enjoying basketball once more subsequent season for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. Her feedback got here every week after she was launched from a Russian jail, freed in a dramatic high-level prisoner trade.
“It feels so good to be home!” Griner posted to Instagram on Friday in her first public assertion since her launch. “The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help.”
Associated: Brittney Griner opened up throughout her lengthy journey residence: ‘I wish to speak’
Griner was arrested in February in Russia on drug-related expenses and was later convicted and sentenced to 9 years in a Russian jail. After months of strained negotiations, and a very uncommon public revelation by the Biden administration that it had made a “substantial proposal” to deliver residence Griner and one other detained American, Paul Whelan, the case resolved final week with a prisoner swap wherein the WNBA star was exchanged within the United Arab Emirates for Russian arms vendor Viktor Bout.
“President Biden, you brought me home and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too,” Griner mentioned. “I will use my platform to do whatever I can to help you. I also encourage everyone that played a part in bringing me home to continue their efforts to bring all Americans home. Every family deserves to be whole.”
Whelan’s brother David mentioned final week in an announcement that he was “so glad” for Griner’s launch but in addition dissatisfied for his household. He credited the White Home with giving the Whelan household advance discover and mentioned he didn’t fault officers for making the deal.
“The Biden administration made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, and to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn’t going to happen,” he mentioned.
Griner additionally thanked the navy employees and medical group in Texas, the place she was receiving care after returning to the U.S. final week. She wrote that she would “transition home to enjoy the holidays with my family” however didn’t say the place.
Brittney Griner freed in US-Russia prisoner swap
WNBA star Brittney Griner was freed a US-Russia prisoner swap after virtually a 12 months in jail for allegedly having a hash oil vape pen together with her in an airport in Russia.
Whereas WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert mentioned she was going to provide Griner on a regular basis she wanted to resolve whether or not she wished to play basketball once more, Griner made it clear that: “I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon.”
“Amazing timing for her to be home before the holidays,” Engelbert advised the AP in an interview Thursday. “It’s a great story for all who know her.”
The Mercury open the season on the highway towards the Los Angeles Sparks on Might 19. The group’s first residence recreation is 2 days later towards the Chicago Sky.
Reporting from The Related Press.
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