NewsUSABasketball player Griner thanks Biden for his release and says she will try to help repatriate another prisoner in Russia

Basketball player Griner thanks Biden for his release and says she will try to help repatriate another prisoner in Russia

“How good it feels to be home!” With these words in an Instagram post, American basketball player Brittney Griner broke her silence after her release in a prisoner exchange with Russia last week. In his first message, Griner thanks the president of the United States, Joe Biden, for his release, promises that he will try to help the release of Paul Whelan (another American prisoner in Russia who was left out of the exchange) and assures that he will play again in the women’s professional basketball league next season.

The athlete was transferred to the hospital of a military base in San Antonio (Texas) after her release, but she assures that she is already at “home”, although without specifying if she is referring to her country or her home, and that she plans to spend the Christmas holidays with his family. “The last 10 months [el tiempo que ha estado presa] they have been a battle at every turn,” he states in his message, which includes a photograph of getting off the plane in San Antonio and another hugging his wife.

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The 32-year-old basketball player was arrested at the Sheremetyevo airport, on the outskirts of Moscow, on February 17, for possession of some cartridges with marijuana oil, and later sentenced to eight years in prison (the sentence was reduced by one year after appeal). After months of negotiations, she was exchanged last week for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout at Abu Dhabi airport (United Arab Emirates). As part of the exchange, Washington wanted Russia to also release ex-serviceman Paul Whelan, also imprisoned in Russia and sentenced to 16 years in prison for alleged espionage, but Moscow did not agree. Griner had words for him too in her first message. Thanking Biden, he says, “I know you’re committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home, too. I will use my platform to do everything I can to help him.”

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Winner of two Olympic gold medals, Griner became the star of the Phoenix Mercury since joining the team in 2013. Since 2018, she has also played for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russian first division, taking advantage of the break in the WNBA seasons. , the women’s American professional league. His message concludes by announcing his return to the courts: “I want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA this season, and in doing so, I hope to be able to say ‘thank you’ soon in person to those of you who advocated, wrote, and published on my behalf.”

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