Brittney Griner was jailed for carrying cannabis oil at a Moscow airport in February. Check out Will Brittney Griner play basketball again.
Brittney Griner : Haircut | Will play basketball again
U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been released in a prisoner swap with Russia and is on her way back to the United States, President Joe Biden said on Thursday, ending what he called months of “hell.”
The Russian foreign ministry said it traded Griner for Russian citizen Viktor Bout, a former arms dealer.
The swap took place at Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates, Russian news agencies said.
“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances,” Biden told reporters at the White House, adding she would arrive within the next 24 hours. “This is a day we’ve worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release.”
Griner, 32, a star of the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Phoenix Mercury, was arrested on Feb. 17. Talks to secure her release were complicated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 and the subsequent deep souring of ties between Washington and Moscow.
Brittney griner haircut
Brittney Griner has returned to the United States, but left a part of her back in Russia when she was forced to shave her head.
Griner’s ten-month detention ended yesterday when she was released from Russia via a prisoner swap.
Blagovolina added that each time Griner showered, her hair would freeze, which led to her cutting her locks off.
‘It’s very cold in there and every time she washed her hair she got cold and would get a chill,’ Blagovolina said. ‘She should have waited until New Year’s Day.’
Griner also caught the flu while incarcerated, but has been recovering from that.
Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport back in February and was sentenced to nine years in prison for possession of marijuana.
The United States government conducted a prisoner swap with the Russians, getting Griner in exchange for a Russian arms dealer.
It’s unclear if or when Griner will return to the court for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury with the season beginning May 19th against the Los Angeles Sparks.
Will play basketball again
Brittney Griner’s loved ones and extended basketball family were ecstatic when news broke Thursday about her release from a Russian prison and that she was on her way back to the United States.
It has been nearly 300 days since the WNBA star was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February, when customs officials said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage.
While it’s unclear right now if Griner wants to ever play basketball again, she would be welcomed back with open arms by both the WNBA and USA Basketball.
The WNBA season begins May 19. Engelbert said she’d give Griner and her family some space and time before any discussion about her return to the league.
“It’s been a long, horrible ordeal and we really look forward to her return and hearing her voice,” Engelbert said.
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has been a prominent advocate for Griner’s return. Staley, who coached Griner on the 2020 Olympic team, feels that playing again could be helpful to the dominant center.
Staley said she broke down with tears of joy when she heard the news Thursday morning.
Like Staley, WNBA players have done their best to keep Griner’s name in the national spotlight over the last eight months by talking about her in interviews and posting about her on social media.