Houston, TX

Houston celebrates the release of hometown hero Brittney Griner

Ash Jurberg

Photo byWikiCommons Images

“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” President Joe Biden

In July, I asked readers, "should Biden do more to bring Houston basketball star Brittney Griner home from a Russian prison?"

Griner was arrested in February for alleged “large-scale transportation” of cannabis into Russia, where she spends the winter playing basketball for a Russian team. Griner, who was born in Houston and went to Nimitz High School in Houston, was drafted out of Baylor and was the number one pick in the 2014 WNBA draft. She pleaded guilty to charges of cannabis possession and showed the court a US doctor’s letter recommending she use medical cannabis to treat pain.

There had been criticism of the Biden administration for not doing enough to bring Griner back to the United States.

Basketball star Lebron James even weighed in on the debate, saying, " now, how can she feel like America has her back?” I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even wanna go back to America?’”

The Biden administration worked to assure concerned Americans that they were working on getting Griner and other Americans back home on US soil.

“I can assure you that the Biden-Harris administration and Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken, they are committed to getting these people home. They’re committed to taking care of these families,” Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department

Today after ten long months in a Russian prison, Griner was finally released after President Biden negotiated a prisoner exchange.

The people of Houston were quick to celebrate Griner's release, including Houston Mayor Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

"Great news this morning about the release of Houston native, Nimitz High School graduate and WNBA star Brittney Griner." Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

Your thoughts

Are you glad to see Brittney Griner released? Do you think President Biden took too long to make the exchange?

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