Brittney Griner returned to US on Friday
Ricky Gray | December 9, 2022
After 10 months of Russian detention, the WNBA player was returned.
A high-profile prisoner exchange occurred between the US and Russia, bringing WNBA player Brittney Griner back to the United States.
Griner landed and was seen getting off a plane at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. US officials stated that she would be offered medical services and counseling.
Griner had been detained in Russia for nearly 10 months and was exchanged for arms dealer Viktor Bout on Thursday.
President Joe Biden said: “This is a day we've worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release.
“It took painstaking and intense negotiations, and I want to thank all the hardworking public servants across my administration who worked tirelessly to secure her release.”
Biden addressed the US from the White House on Thursday and stated that he spoke with Griner on the phone.
Cherelle Griner said: “Today, my family is whole, but as you all are aware, there are so many other families who are not whole.
“BG and I will remain committed to the work of getting every American home, including Paul, whose family is in our hearts today as we celebrate BG being home.”
Griner was first arrested at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in February when customs officials found vape canisters with cannabis oil located in her luggage.
After a lengthy trial, Griner was sentenced to nine years and had been transferred to a penal colony in November.
The U.S. State Department had declared Griner was "wrongfully detained,” a charge which Russia sharply rejected.
Bout was serving a 25-year sentence on weapons charges in the US after being arrested in Thailand in 2008.