Brittney Griner Greeted With Christmas Tree and Grill After Russian Prison

Brittney Griner Greeted With Christmas Tree: Brittney Griner newly returned to the United States after doing time in a Russian labour camp, spent her first weekend back in the ordinary at a military base in Texas.

The Olympic gold medalist and her wife Cherelle Griner checked into Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio on Friday, where they are residing in a residential area of the base that was decorated for the holidays by their agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas.

Colas told CNN that Griner, 32, is “upbeat, thankful, and hopeful” after her release from what the United States government claims were unjust incarceration in Russia. After nearly ten months in a Russian prison, Dr Pepper soda was the first thing that Griner drank in the aeroplane hangar after her release.

Griner’s relatives have also stopped by for long visits, often bringing delicious San Antonio BBQ. According to Colas, the athlete is now consuming significantly more healthy food and vitamins than she did throughout her time in prison. Moreover, “her energy level was pretty high,” she said.

Colas said that Griner also received a haircut to fix the “Russian fade” her friends and family call her hairstyle. Colas added that Griner’s long, characteristic deadlocks had to be chopped while she was in prison and fighting the virus.

After serving her sentence, Griner finally got to play basketball again, and she wasted no time getting back to her dunking ways on the court at the Texas military base. Colas claims that Griner was offered a basketball and hoop while she was being held in pretrial detention in Russia for months.

Colas found it “very encouraging” that her daughter “picked up a ball freely” and “first thing being a dunk.” To paraphrase: “She was ecstatic.” Colas claims that Griner is physically capable of returning to the WNBA for the upcoming spring season, but that the decision to do so ultimately rests with Griner herself. When will she be prepared? Colas said, “We’ll see.”

Brittney Griner Greeted With Christmas Tree
Brittney Griner Greeted With Christmas Tree

Griner is getting psychological support

After being released from prison in San Antonio on Thursday as part of a prisoner swap between the United States and Russia for infamous convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout, Griner went in for a regular assessment at a local medical facility.

Since Griner was arrested on drug charges in February at a Russian airport—where she plays basketball in the WNBA offseason—and later sentenced to nine years in prison, speculation has increased that she is being exploited as a political pawn amid Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Griner will now concentrate on her recovery and reintegration into society with the help of government-provided medical and psychological assistance. Colas remarked, “She’s got a lot of psychological assistance.” There is a lot of support available. It is extremely encouraging and BG-focused. The focus is on her growing sense of autonomy.

People who have been held captive for long periods are given special attention to help them feel empowered again. Colas stated that Griner decided to enrol in the Department of Defense’s post-isolation programme after hearing about the success stories of former Marine Trevor Reed, who was released from a three-year unjust incarceration in Russia in April.

Colas said Griner has the last say on how long she and her wife will remain in San Antonio. After what Griner went through, however, it is evident that “normal” will always have a new definition. Colas said the Griners are in the process of relocating for safety reasons.

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Griner wants to help another detained American

While it is unclear whether or not Griner will return to the basketball court in May, Colas has stated that Griner is ready to use her status and influence to aid others, including Paul Whelan, another American still imprisoned in Russia.

That was one of the first questions she asked me, Colas recalled. The care that she expresses for that is palpable. And I’m going to be sending Paul a note.” According to Colas, Whelan has already communicated with Brittney, telling US authorities, “Please tell Brittney that Paul stated he’s delighted she’s home.”

Colas confirmed that “she is planning for the future.” She’s already planning to help other people find their way back home, as she describes the new role she’s in. Whelan, a citizen of the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Canada, has been detained in Russia since his arrest on espionage accusations in December 2018.

He received a 16-year prison term. His detention, like that of Griner, has been deemed unlawful by American authorities. The United States requested that Russia exchange Griner and Whelan for Bout, an arms trader, but Russian officials were unmoved by the request, claiming that the two Americans’ cases were treated differently due to the differences in the charges against them.

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