La giocatrice dei Phoenix Mercury Brittney Griner è stata detenuta in Russia per 294 giorni dopo essere stata arrestata per contrabbando di cannabis nel paese. “Ho il terrore di poter essere qui per sempre”, ha detto il giocatore di basket in una lettera al presidente Joe Biden ottenuta da The Guardian. Ha spiegato che le mancano la sua famiglia e la sua casa durante il 4 luglio. “Per favore, non dimenticarti di me e degli altri detenuti americani”, ha aggiunto. “Per favore, fai tutto il possibile per riportarci a casa.”
Brittney Griner announces she's returning to the basketball court
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On December 8, President Joe Biden announced Brittney Griner's release from Russia. "She's safe, she's on a plane, she's on her way home," he told CNN in a press conference. "This is a day we've worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release."
Despite being pictured on a court following her release, Griner initially kept it hush-hush on whether or not she planned to play professionally again. "If she wants to play, it will be for her to share," the basketball player's agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, told ESPN. She mentioned that the basketball player was going to spend the holidays with her family before making any decisions. "She's doing really, really well," Colas added. "She seems to have endured this in pretty incredible ways."
But it looks like Griner has already made up her mind on what she plans to do in regards to her career. "I also want to make one thing very clear," she said near the end of a lengthy statement posted to her Instagram account. "I intend to play basketball for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury this season." Her statement started out by saying, "It feels so good to be home!" She then thanked her fans, President Biden, her family, her agent, her legal team in Russia, and the WNBA for the constant support before making the big announcement.