Brittney Griner's Wife Cherelle Says 'Today My Family Is Whole' After WNBA Star's Prison Release
"Today's just a happy day for me and my family, so I'm gonna smile right now," Griner's wife Cherelle said Thursday after the WNBA star was released from Russian custody . Shortly after news broke that Brittney, 32, had been in a prisoner exchange for a convinced arms dealer, Cherelle spoke during a press conference hosted by Joe Biden at the White House Thursday about her wife's release.
Brittney Griner's release photos go viral after former WNBA star gets freed from Russia © Provided by Fadeaway World Fadeaway World
After battling for months to free the Russian-captured Brittney Griner, the U.S. government was finally able to negotiate her release this week after agreeing to free Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
It was a long-time coming for Griner, who was reportedly worried about her chances of being released. While there is still work to be done for the other U.S. citizens trapped overseas, it's an great win for Griner, her family, and the NBA world.
BREAKING: Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who was sentenced to prison in Russia, has been freed in a prisoner-swap and is now in US custody, a US official tells @CBSNews
Prisoner swap negotiations with Russia over Brittney Griner were 'painstaking, extraordinary'
Brittney Griner’s release followed months of negotiations between the Biden administration and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime.“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” Biden announced from the White House Thursday.
As the NBA Twitter world celebrated her released Thursday morning, pictures surfaced online that captured her first moments of freedom and they caught a lot of attention from the community.
Griner is all smiles, and you would be to if you were coming back from spending nearly a year in a Russian prison.
Griner Faced Harsh Conditions In Russia Amid Heightened Political Tension
Just last month, Griner was supposedly transferred to a Russian labor camp, which are known for their especially harsh conditions. At the time, there was really fear for Griner's safety and some doubts that she'd make it out before the end of her sentence.
Russian lawyers and the agent for Brittney Griner said the WNBA basketball star and two-time Olympic gold medalist is being transferred to a penal labor colony at an undisclosed location in Russia.
Brittney Griner back in US after Russian prisoner swap
A plane believed to be carrying Brittney Griner has landed in the United States.Griner was seen getting off a plane that landed Friday at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.
The transfer process, known as staging, began last Friday and can take weeks to complete. Notification is usually provided by regular mail. Griner was convicted earlier this year after she pleaded guilty to bringing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil into the country.
While it was known that Griner would eventually be transferred to a long-term prison to serve out her sentence, the transfer was not expected to happen so soon, and her family, legal team, and President Joe Biden expressed concern for Griner’s well-being.
In the end, it all worked out for BG. While it was a scary situation all-around, her patience and decision making helped make it easier for the U.S. to bring her home.
Now, it will be interesting to see what she does with her newfound freedom, and the second chance she's been given on life.
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