Plane Carrying Basketball Star Griner Lands in US

( WNBA player Brittney Griner arrived at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base in Texas early Friday morning after being released from Russia in a high-profile prisoner swap.

On Thursday, President Biden announced that Griner was on her way home after the US agreed to exchange her for the international arms dealer known as “The Merchant of Death,” Victor Bout.

In his brief remarks at the White House Thursday morning, Biden boasted that Griner was “safe” and “on a lane” home, claiming she had been “unjustly detained in Russia.”

Griner was detained at a Russian airport in February and in August, she was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

The president also said that the US would continue to work to release former Marine Paul Whelan who has been held by the Russians since 2018. He claimed that the US was not given a “choice of which American to bring home.”

Whelan, who holds American, British, Canadian, and Irish passports, was sentenced to 16 years in jail in 2020 after being convicted of spying. He has denied the charge.

Biden said Russia is treating Whelan’s case “differently” from Griner’s “for illegitimate reasons,” but added that the US would not give up on getting him released.

But not everyone was happy about the prisoner exchange.

Republicans blasted the Biden administration for releasing a man responsible for countless deaths, accusing the president of being outmaneuvered by Vladimir Putin.

Even Democrat-loving Republican Adam Kinzinger criticized the Biden administration for leaving Paul Whelan in a Russian prison, asking “how much longer must his family wait?”

After her arrival on Friday, Griner was transferred to a medical facility to be checked out before returning home to Phoenix where she lives with her wife Cherelle.