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WNBA star Brittney Griner to land at San Antonio’s Kelly Field, head to BAMC for medical care after release from Russia

SAN ANTONIO – WNBA star Brittney Griner will reportedly land in San Antonio following her release within the U.S.-Russia prisoner swap.

Griner, who was launched by Russia on Thursday in change for infamous Russian arms supplier Viktor Bout, might be taken to Brooke Army Medical Center for a routine analysis, a spokesperson confirmed to ABC News. She is slated to land at Kelly Field on the Southwest Side.

President Joe Biden spoke in regards to the deal from the White House alongside Griner’s spouse, Cherelle, and administration officers.

“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” Biden mentioned.

The deal, the second such change in eight months with Russia, procured the release of probably the most distinguished American detained overseas. Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medalist whose monthslong imprisonment on drug expenses introduced unprecedented consideration to the inhabitants of wrongful detainees.

Biden’s authorization to release a Russian felon as soon as nicknamed “the Merchant of Death” underscored the escalating stress that his administration confronted to get Griner dwelling, notably after the current decision of her felony case and her subsequent switch to a penal colony.

The Russian Foreign Ministry additionally confirmed the swap, saying in an announcement carried by Russian information companies that the change happened in Abu-Dhabi and that Bout has been flown dwelling.

WATCH BELOW: Biden speaks after WNBA star Brittney Griner freed

Russian and U.S. officers had conveyed cautious optimism in current weeks after months of strained negotiations, with Biden saying in November that he was hopeful that Russia would interact in a deal now that the midterm elections had been accomplished. A high Russian official mentioned final week {that a} deal was attainable earlier than year’s finish.

Griner’s arrest in February made her probably the most high-profile American jailed overseas. Her standing as an overtly homosexual Black girl, locked up in a rustic the place authorities have been hostile to the LBGTQ neighborhood, infused racial, gender and social dynamics into her authorized saga and made every improvement a matter of worldwide significance.

Griner was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February when customs officers mentioned they discovered vape canisters with hashish oil in her baggage. She pleaded responsible in July, although nonetheless confronted trial as a result of admitting guilt in Russia’s judicial system doesn’t mechanically finish a case.

She acknowledged in courtroom that she possessed the canisters, however mentioned she had no felony intent and mentioned their presence in her baggage was due to hasty packing.

Before being sentenced on Aug. 4 and receiving a punishment her legal professionals mentioned was out of line for the offense, an emotional Griner apologized “for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them.” She added: “I hope in your ruling it does not end my life.”

Griner is a six-time WNBA All-Star. She performed faculty basketball at Baylor University earlier than her skilled career.

Following her release on Thursday, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert issued an announcement that acknowledged Griner “has shown extraordinary courage and dignity in the face of enormous adversity.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver additionally launched an announcement, saying “we’re thrilled that she is on her way home to her family and friends.”

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