Dave and Chuck the Freak

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 10: Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury durring pregame warmups at Footprint Center on October 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Brittney Griner has released a statement following the prisoner swap that allowed her to return home from a Russian prison. The WNBA star was detained overseas for nearly 10 months.

“It feels so good to be home!” Griner started off her message posted to Instagram Friday (Dec. 16). “The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help.”

The Phoenix Mercury center then expressed gratitude to everyone that helped her get back home. That included her wife Cherelle Griner, her family, and President Joe Biden, among others. The basketball player said that she would use her platform to advocate for others who are currently detained.

“President Biden, you brought me home and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too,” she said. “I will use my platform to do whatever I can to help you. I also encourage everyone that played a part in bringing me home to continue their efforts to bring all Americans home. Every family deserves to be whole.”

The two-time Olympic medalist also says she is planning to return to the basketball court sooner than later.

“I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon,” she concluded.

Griner returned to the United States last Friday (Dec. 9). The WNBA star — who played in Russia during the offseason — was arrested in February after two cannabis vape cartridges were discovered in her carry-on luggage. Although she admitted that it was a mistake having the cartridges in her luggage she pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Griner’s release was later confirmed by a one-for-one prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Take a look at Griner’s full message below: