The WNBA community is celebrating Brittney Griner’s return to the United States after her release from Russia in a prisoner swap with Russian arms dealer Victor Booth on Thursday.
Griner spent nearly 10 months in Russian prisons after he was arrested in February at an airport in the Moscow region on drug smuggling charges.
Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart tweeted, “BG FREE!!! 294 days and he’s coming home!!!”
Connecticut Sun center and 2021 quarterback Jonquel Jones took to Twitter. to write“BG Freeeeeeee Praise The Lord Thank You Jesus!!!”
In separate tweets, Jones wrote, “What a miracle of Christmas! God is good! I am very happy now! BG is free!!!!” followed by, “Let me tell you, nothing can dampen my spirits! My Sister Comes Home BG FREE.
“BG” wrote two-time WNBA MVP Aja Wilson. “God is so good”
Los Angeles Sparks player Amanda Zahui B. tweeted, “BRITNEY WE LOVE YOU!!! we were waiting for you to come home and it happened !! ” – in a separate tweet, he writes that he “can’t stop crying.”
Sparks forward, Chiney Ogwumike added, “Best news to start our day: Finally, our little sister BG is coming home!! I am very grateful to everyone who worked tirelessly to make this possible. Welcome home Brittney!!!!”
President Biden tweeted About Griner’s release Thursday morning, she wrote that she had spoken with the WNBA star and that she was on a plane back to the United States.
The post included photos of President and Vice President Kamala Harris smiling with Griner’s wife, Cheryl, in the Oval Office.
WNBA icon Sue Bird, who retired after Seattle’s playoff loss in September, retweeted Biden’s tweet, to write“BG is free.”
Stephanie Dolson of the New York Freedom Center also shared Biden’s tweet, writing, “Absolutely incredible!!!!!! He is finally coming home!!!!”
After Griner’s arrest, the WNBA and its players issued countless pleas and calls for her return. Griner’s initials and jersey number “42” were emblazoned on the courts of all 12 WNBA teams last season. Players also continued to campaign for his release on social media by wearing “BG” pins.
NBA players including LeBron James, Stephen CurryChris Paul and Ja Morant publicly called for Griner’s return, and some players wore jerseys with Griner’s face and number.