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Brittney Griner dunks in first workout since Russia arrest, WNBA future unclear, agent says


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Brittney Griner returned to the U.S. on Friday when she landed at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, months after she was arrested and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison for drug smuggling.

On Thursday, the Biden administration and Russia agreed to a prisoner swap in which Griner would come back to the U.S. from a penal colony for Viktor Bout – a convicted arms dealer known as the "Merchant of Death."

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, told ESPN on Sunday that while she got herself together at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, she picked up a basketball for the first time in 10 months and dunked the ball.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

The Phoenix Mercury star was arrested in February as she was returning to her Russian basketball team. She was placed into custody at a Moscow airport after bringing vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through the facility. The arrest occurred right before Russia invaded Ukraine and word of it did not reach the Western media until weeks later.

Now back home, Griner will take some time to get better acquainted with her surroundings. Her return to professional basketball was not immediately clear.

"If she wants to play, it will be for her to share. She has the holidays to rest and decide what's next without any pressure," Colas told ESPN. "She's doing really, really well. She seems to have endured this in pretty incredible ways."

WNBA STAR ANGEL MCCOUGHTRY WON’T RETURN TO RUSSIA AFTER GRINER ARREST DESPITE MAKING ENTIRE SALARY IN A MONTH

Griner has not released a public statement since her release. She was seen in a video smiling and chatting to the staff on her plane ride home.

Colas said Griner will now work to draw more attention to other Americans who are detained in other countries, pointing to U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan who is in Russian custody on an espionage conviction, something which he and his family have strongly denied.

The Mercury released a statement upon hearing Griner was coming home.

"Miraculously, mercifully, the count of days detained has ended at 294, and our friend, our sister is headed back home where she belongs. The emotions for our organization, just like for our fans and so many across the world, are those of joyous celebration, deep gratitude, grief for the time lost, and sincere hope for all families still awaiting the return of a loved one. BG's strength in this process, her unwavering belief that resolution would come, and the hope she displayed every day is what kept all of us believing this day would come," the WNBA team said.

"We are eternally grateful for the combined work of President Biden and Vice President Harris and the Administration, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, to Cherelle Griner, Ray and Sandra Griner, Brittney's agent Lindsay Colas, Brittney's Russian counsel, the WNBA and Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, the WNBA Players Association, and everyone – from players to fans to media – who kept Brittney's story top-of-mind. The fight to bring her home has illustrated the power of the WNBA, its players, platform, and mission. We no longer have to Bring BG Home – she’s on her way."

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