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Brittney Griner, 32, spoke out for the primary time after she returned house to the U.S. from Russia, the place she spent 10 months in jail. “It feels so good to be house!” Brittney wrote on Instagram Dec. 16, alongside images of her stepping off the aircraft in Texas and reuniting together with her spouse Cherelle Griner. “The final 10 months have been a battle at each flip. I dug deep to maintain my religion and it was the love from so a lot of you that helped maintain me going. From the underside of my coronary heart, thanks to everybody on your assist,” the athlete added.
Brittney confirmed that she’s returning to the WNBA in her submit. However earlier than that, she thanked everybody who supported her whereas she was imprisoned in Russia. She gave a particular shoutout to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for securing her launch.
“President Biden, you introduced me house and I do know you’re dedicated to bringing Paul Whelan and all People house too,” Brittney wrote. “I’ll use my platform to do no matter I can that will help you. I additionally encourage everybody that performed a component in bringing me house to proceed their efforts to carry all People house. Each household deserves to be complete.”
Brittney additionally thanked the workers and medical staff at San Antonio Fort Sam Houston Base, the place Brittney and her spouse have been staying since she got here house. Then, Brittney made the massive reveal about her future within the WNBA. “I additionally wish to make one factor very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look ahead to having the ability to say ‘thanks’ to these of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in particular person quickly,” she stated to conclude her message.
Brittney was arrested for possession of marijuana vape cartridges in February, shortly earlier than Russia’s conflict with Ukraine started. She was tried and found guilty in August. Regardless of her lawyer’s appeals, she was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony, which she had been transferred to the penal colony in November earlier than her launch was finalized. Brittney was launched in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who had been arrested in 2008 for conspiring to kill People.
President Biden introduced the release of Brittney on December 8. “Moments in the past I spoke to Brittney Griner,” he wrote on Twitter. “She is protected. She is on a aircraft. She is on her manner house.” Brittney’s spouse, Chanelle Griner, was with the President, because the prisoner launch was confirmed.