U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner, a Houston native, has been free from Russian custody in an exceedingly exchange, President Joe Biden affirmed weekday morning. “I spoke to Brittney Griner a few moments before. She is safe and on the plane. She is on her approach home,” Biden said in a tweet asserting the release. Houston hall is lit red, white, and blue Thursday night in her honor, city manager Sylvester Turner said.
In a Thursday morning press conference, Biden said he had spoken with Griner on the phone and she is “in smart spirits.”
“She’s alleviated to finally be heading home, and also the fact remains that she’s lost months of her life, full-fledged uncalled-for trauma,” he said. “She endured pattern and a trial in Russia with characteristic grit and unbelievable dignity.
Griner was inactive in an exceedingly national capital flying field in February once airport officers discovered vape canisters and cannabis oil in her luggage. She was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian jail for importing illegitimate medication into the country. The White House is known as the legal proceedings a “sham.” Griner pleaded guilty to the costs and apologized for the incident, line of work it an “honest mistake.”
Griner was a star on the Baylor University girl Bears squad from 2009-13. She has performed for the Phoenix Mercury since the 2013 draft and additionally played basketball in China and Russia throughout the off-season.
Her release was negotiated in exchange for the discharge of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, nicknamed “the merchandiser of Death,” CBS News 1st reportable weekday morning.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle, appeared at the conference aboard Biden to announce the release.
“Over the last 9 months, you all are so aware of one of the darkest moments of my life,” she said. “Today I’m simply standing here, weak with feelings. however, the foremost vital emotion that I have immediately is simply sincere feeling for President Biden and his entire administration.”
Biden shared, he’d been engaged in “painstaking and intense negotiations” to unharness Griner from the start of her detainment.
“Even in an exceedingly time of major conflict between Russia and also the United States, positive things will and do still occur,” Turner said. “Tremendous because of President Biden, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and several others who worked inexhaustibly to bring Brittney home.”
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