It’s been close to three months now since WNBA star Brittney Griner returned home to the United States after spending close to 10 months in Russian prison.
On Dec. 8, Griner was released from Russian custody in a prisoner swap that brought convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout back to Russia. U.S. president Joe Biden had worked extensively to bring the basketball icon home, and after intense back-and-forth negotiations, managed to reach a deal with Russian officials.
The Phoenix Mercury star and her wife, Cherelle Griner, made an appearance at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards on Saturday evening. There, Brittney made an emotional speech and encouraged others to continue their fight in bringing back detained American prisoners, via The Hollywood Reporter:
“It feels so good to be here, especially with my beautiful, amazing wife and with all of y’all here today. I want to thank everyone and let’s keep fighting to bring home every American still detained overseas.”
On Feb. 17 of last year, Russian officials arrested Griner at the Sheremetyevo International Airport for carrying a minimal amount of hash oil. The substance is illegal in Russia, so she was detained and subsequently handed a nine-year prison sentence in August.
Four months after receiving the sentence, however, American officials managed to bring Griner back home. The 32-year-old, who has spent her entire WNBA career with the Mercury, recently agreed to a new deal with the franchise.
Griner is an eight-time WNBA All-Star and two-time WNBA scoring champion and led the Mercury to a WNBA Championship in 2014.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.