Brittney Griner
US Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Griner Getty Images | EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / POOL / AFP

It has been a little over a week since WNBA superstar Brittney Griner has returned home from Russia. Now in her first public statement since being home, she takes the time to thank the faith and people who helped her get through her ordeal, address her WNBA future and advocate for Paul Whelan.

The 32-year-old took to Instagram to express her gratitude.

“It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn,” wrote Griner in the caption. “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.”

Griner seemed to be getting back into the swing off things, doing a light workout. The WNBA player has not touched a basketball since before being detained in Russia almost 10 months ago. Her future with the WNBA was uncertain, but in her statement, she reassures she’s not going anywhere.

“I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season,” wrote Griner. “…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 also thanked President Joe Biden for his work and brought attention to former Marine Paul Whelan who was not a part of the trade between Griner and Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

“President Biden, you brought me home and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too,” wrote Griner. “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.”

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