Brittney Griner’s Wife Cherelle Says ‘Today My Family Is WholeAfter WNBA Star’s Prison Release

Cherelle Griner (eu), wife of Olympian and WNBA player Brittney Griner, speaks after U.S. President Joe Biden announced her release from Russian custody, at the White House on December 08, 2022 em Washington, DC. Griner was released as part of a prisoner swap that involved Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Biden was joined by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Cherelle Griner (eu), wife of Olympian and WNBA player Brittney Griner, speaks after U.S. President Joe Biden announced her release from Russian custody, at the White House on December 08, 2022 em Washington, DC. Griner was released as part of a prisoner swap that involved Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Biden was joined by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris.

foto: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Britney GrinerEsposa de Cherelle says herfamily is wholeagain after the WNBA star was released from Russian custody.

Shortly after news broke that Brittney, 32, had been released from Russian custody in a prisoner exchange for a convinced arms dealer, Cherelle spoke during a conferência de imprensa hospedado por Joe Biden at the White House Thursday about her wife’s release.

So over the last nine months, you all have been so privy to one of the darkest moments of my life, and so today I am just standing here overwhelmed with emotions, but the most important emotion I have right now is just sincere gratitude for President Biden and his entire administration,” ela começou.

Noting how Biden, 80, previously mentioned that getting an American citizen back from overseas detainmentis not easy,” Cherelle continued, “There’s been so many hands involved, and so I’d like to take a moment to just specifically mention a few.

Shouting out Vice President Kamala Harris and Griner’s fellow Phoenix Mercury basketball players, entre muitos outros, Cherelle then added, “Today my family is whole, but as you all are aware, there’s so many other families who aren’t whole.She then cited Paul Whelan, another American who remains jailed in Russia and who was not included in the swap centered around Griner.

Thank you everybody for your support, and today’s just a happy day for me and my family, so I’m gonna smile right now,” Cherelle added. “Obrigada.”

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Brittney Griner's Wife Cherelle Says President Biden Is the 'One Person That Can Go Get Her'

Brittney Griner's Wife Cherelle Says President Biden Is the 'One Person That Can Go Get Her'

Brittney and Cherelle Griner.
Brittney Griner/Instagram

Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on drug smuggling charges, era released in a one-for-one prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout na quinta feira, CBS News reported, citing a U.S. official.

The exchange agreement between Griner and Bout was recently negotiated with Moscow and was given final approval by Biden last Thursday, five former U.S. funcionários disseram ao jornal.

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Before delivering his remarks during the same press conference as Cherelle, Biden tweetou: “Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home,” alongside photographs of himself, Harris, 58, and Cherelle.

Cherelle Griner (C), wife of Olympian and WNBA player Brittney Griner, speaks after U.S. President Joe Biden announced her release of from Russian custody, with Vice President Kamala Harris in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on December 08, 2022 em Washington, DC. Griner was released as part of a prisoner swap that involved Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Cherelle Griner (C), wife of Olympian and WNBA player Brittney Griner, speaks after U.S. President Joe Biden announced her release of from Russian custody, with Vice President Kamala Harris in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on December 08, 2022 em Washington, DC. Griner was released as part of a prisoner swap that involved Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Cherelle Griner.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Griner was previously sentenced to nine years in prison on Aug. 10, just below the maximum allowed sentence of 10 anos. Griner’s lawyers said at the time, em uma declaração compartilhada com PEOPLE, that the verdict, é “absolutely unreasonableand said they willcertainly file an appeal.

VÍDEO RELACIONADO: WNBA Star Brittney Griner Released from Russian Custody in Prisoner Swap

In his Thursday morning speech, Biden celebrated Griner’s release from Russian custody. “Good morning folks, and it is a good morning,” Biden, who was standing before Harris and Cherelle, começou.

Moments ago, standing together with her wife Cherelle in the Oval Office, I spoke with Brittney Griner. Ela é seguro, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home after months of being unjustly detained na Rússia, held under intolerable circumstances,” Ele continuou.

Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should’ve been there all along,” Biden adicionado. “This is a day we’ve worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release. It took painstaking and intense negotiations, and I wanna thank all the hardworking public servants across my administration who worked tirelessly to secure her release.

He then also thankedthe UAE for helping us facilitate Brittney’s return, cause that’s where she landed. These past few months have been hell for Brittney and for Cherelle, and her entire family and all her teammates back home,” ele disse.

Biden later noted that Griner will be back in the U.S. em “the next 24 horas.”