US Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, waits for the verdict inside a defendants’ cage during a hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, on August 4, 2022. – A Russian court found Griner guilty of smuggling and storing narcotics after prosecutors requested a sentence of nine and a half years in jail for the athlete. (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
WNBA star Brittney Griner will be returning home following extended detention and imprisonment in the Russian penal system, the White House announced Thursday morning.
The seven-time WNBA All-Star was exchanged in a one-for-one trade for U.S.-held Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to CBS News, who cited an unnamed U.S. official familiar with the deal. The swap was signed off on by President Joe Biden and conducted in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday following weeks of negotiation between U.S. and Russian officials, according to CBS’ report.