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Brittney Griner posted a lengthy message on her Instagram account on Friday. “It’s so good to be home,” she said.

Brittney Griner departed a medical military facility in Texas on Friday and headed home to Arizona, and she intends to play basketball for her team this season, according to her Instagram feed.

For those who were curious about Brittney Griner’s hair – she cut it because to prepare for the Russian winter: every time she washed it, she would get cold

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 9, 2022

For the two-time Olympic gold medalist, who was released last week in a prisoner swap after nearly 300 days in Russian custody, the day marks another step in her reintegration into American life.

According to CNN, Griner said she was “grateful to each person who advocated for me” and she mentioned Paul Whelan, whose release could not be secured in the prisoner swap that brought her home.

I had some MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS the last couple of weeks, too…

?? Inflation’s easing
?? I just signed the Respect for Marriage Act
?? We brought Brittney Griner home
?? Gas prices are lower than a year ago
?? 10,000 new high-paying jobs in Arizona

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 15, 2022

Griner took off from San Antonio around 11 a.m. on Friday, CNN confirmed via her agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas.

As she boarded the plane, Griner was greeted by Phoenix Mercury GM Jim Pitman, Vince Kozar, president of the Phoenix Mercury, and her Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi, all of whom made a surprise appearance to welcome her home.

Griner was headed back to Arizona, though her representatives would not confirm exactly where, citing security concerns. CNN previously reported that Griner and her wife, Cherelle, had already made plans to move upon her return to the United States.

“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,” Griner said.

“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.”

In November 2020, Proposition 207, the Safe and Smart Act, passed into law and legalized marijuana for adult personal use in Arizona. While news of her release has been equally celebrated and castigated across social media, others have poked fun at her ability to legally enjoy cannabis again.

After the sustained support from her basketball family throughout 2022, Griner will suit up with teammates and against opponents who all worked as one to bring her back home. 

The WNBA regular season will begin on May 19, 2023.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...