Brittney Griner Can't Stop Smiling In First Video After Release From Russian Prison

Brittney Griner is a free woman — and loving it! As you've probably heard, Griner was finally freed from a Russian prison on December 8 after spending around 10 months in the country. WNBA player Brittney was detained in Russia in February after she was found to have hashish oil in her luggage when entering the country to play basketball there, per CNBC. She was then sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty, though her sentencing has been largely condemned by the U.S. and plenty have spoken out in support of her.

One of those calling for her release was none other than the President of the United States himself, Joe Biden, who confirmed via Twitter that Brittney would be making her way back to the States. "Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home," he wrote on the social media site alongside photos of him with Brittney's wife, Cherelle Griner. Per New York Times, Griner's release came as part of a prisoner exchange it's thought Biden had been working out since the summer, as she was allowed to return home in exchange for Russian Arms dealer Viktor Bout, who had been in U.S. custody.

And it seems like, understandably, Brittney is pretty happy to see the end of her Russian nightmare, and the smile on her face said it all.

Brittney Griner was 'happy' to be heading home

Russian State media released a video on December 8 that showed Brittney Griner on a plane and making her way back to the U.S. for the first time in 10 months. The clip, shared across Twitter, showed the basketball star smiling from ear to ear as she sat on the plane wearing a flannel shirt and woolly hat, responding "happy" when asked how she felt. She also made it clear she was very much ready to head home. 

Another video shared by TMZ Sports showed what happened when Brittney touched down, as the prisoner exchange actually happened in the UAE. On the tarmac, Brittney — who had removed her hat and showed what appeared to be a buzz cut — crossed paths with Viktor Bout, and then spoke to people as a private jet appeared to be waiting for her.

After the news was announced that Brittney would finally be heading home, her wife, Cherelle Griner, spoke to press from the White House where she vowed to continue her fight to bring all Americans in similar situations home. "[Brittney] and I will remain committed to the work of getting every American home, including Paul [Whelan], whose family is in our hearts today," she said in a clip shared by ESPN. "As we celebrate [Brittney] being home, we do understand that there are still people out here who are enduring what I endured the last nine months of missing tremendously their loved ones."