Brittney Griner: The American basketball player had to ‘dig deep’ during her incarceration in Russia.
Brittney Griner, a basketball player, says she had to “dig deep” to get through her 10-month incarceration in Russia.
The 32-year-old American was arrested on narcotics charges in February 2022 when authorities at a Moscow airport discovered cannabis oil in her luggage.
Griner was eventually sentenced to nine years in prison before being exchanged for a prisoner in December.
“I’m no stranger to adversity,” the Phoenix Mercury center stated at her first press conference since returning.
Griner, who was born in Houston, continued, “Just digging deep, honestly, you’re going to face adversities throughout your life.” This was a significant one.
“You grind it out, put your head down, and just keep going and going forward.” “You can never be still.”
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Griner, who returned to Phoenix on a one-year contract in February, had been with the team for nearly nine seasons before being jailed in Russia soon before the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
She was detained in Russia for 10 months when the US government, under pressure from activists, legislators, and those close to Griner, reached a deal to exchange her for renowned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who had been detained in the US for 12 years.
The intricate handover comprised two private planes taking the duo from Moscow and Washington to Abu Dhabi airport and then back home.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and eight-time WNBA All-Star, advised fellow Americans arrested in foreign countries to “stay strong, keep fighting, and don’t give up.”
“It hurts because no one should be in those circumstances,” she continued.
Griner stated that her operative had communicated with the family of US journalist Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested last month on espionage charges, which he denies.