WNBA star Brittney Griner thanks JBSA-Fort Sam Houston for aid after arriving to US

Griner says she plans to return to WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season

FILE - WNBA star Brittney Griner deplanes at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, following her release in a prisoner swap with Russia, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WNBA star Brittney Griner gave thanks to the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston base for helping bring her home safely after returning to the U.S. a little over a week ago.

Griner shared a lengthy statement on Instagram Friday, saying she’s very grateful to be home after a very trying 10 months overseas.

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“As I transition home to enjoy the holidays with my family, I want to acknowledge and thank the entire PISA staff and medical team at the San Antonio Fort Sam Houston base. I appreciate the time and care to make sure I was okay and equipped with the tools for this new journey,” Griner said in part.

She was arrested back in February in Russia for drug-related charges and was sentenced to nine years in prison, according to The Associated Press.

After many months of attempted negotiations, President Joe Biden’s administration made a proposal to bring Griner home in exchange for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Russia accepted the proposal, and Griner was released Dec. 8 in exchange for Bout during a prisoner swap in the United Arab Emirates.

President Biden announced Griner’s release during a press conference alongside her wife, Cherelle.

Griner landed in San Antonio at 4:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 9 at Kelly Field and she was taken for a routine medical evaluation at Brooke Army Medical Center.

Since her return, Griner vowed that she’d use her platform to aid President Biden in bringing home former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan and all other Americans.

“I also encourage everyone that played a part in bringing me home to continue their efforts to bring all Americans home,” Griner said. “Every family deserves to be whole.”

The basketball star said she still intends to play for WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season. The team is set to start the season in a matchup on May 19 against the Los Angeles Sparks.

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