Brittney Griner prisoner swap AP Sports Story of the Year


              This photo provided by the U.S. Army shows WNBA star Brittney Griner, right, being greeted by wife Cherelle after arriving at Kelly Field in San Antonio following her release in a prisoner swap with Russia, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. Griner said she's “grateful” to be back in the United States and plans on playing basketball again next season for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury a week after she was released from a Russian prison and freed in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange. “It feels so good to be home!” Griner posted to Instagram on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, in her first public statement since her release. (Miquel A. Negro/U.S. Army via AP)
            
              This photo provided by the U.S. Army shows WNBA star Brittney Griner arriving at Kelly Field in San Antonio following her release in a prisoner swap with Russia, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. Brittney Griner said she's “grateful” to be back in the United States and plans on playing basketball again next season for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury a week after she was released from a Russian prison and freed in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange. “It feels so good to be home!” Griner posted to Instagram on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, in her first public statement since her release. (Miquel A. Negro/U.S. Army via AP)
            FILE - Washington Mystics forward Alysha Clark wears a "We Are BG" T-shirt, referring to WNBA player Brittney Griner, before Game 1 of the team's WNBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Seattle Storm on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. For weeks after Griner's arrest at a Moscow airport in February, where Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, her supporters kept a relatively low profile in hopes her case would be quickly resolved. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson, File) FILE - WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner listens to the verdict standing in a cage in a courtroom in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Griner had for years been known to fans of women's basketball, college player of the year, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA all-star who dominated her sport. But her arrest on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport in February elevated her profile in ways neither she nor her supporters would have ever hoped for, making her by far the most high-profile American to be jailed abroad. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool Photo via AP, File) FILE - WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing in Khimki just outside Moscow, on July 7, 2022. She pleaded guilty over the summer, admitting that she had the canisters in her luggage but that she packed them inadvertently in her haste to make her flight and had no criminal intent. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File) FILE - Brittney Griner (15) runs up court during the women's basketball gold medal game against Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Aug. 8, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. The return of Brittney Griner to the United States in a dramatic prisoner swap with Russia marked the culmination of a 10-month ordeal that captivated world attention, a saga that landed at the intersection of sports, politics, race and gender identity -- and wartime diplomacy. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File) FILE - United States' Brittney Griner (15) grabs a rebound against Serbia during a women's basketball semifinal game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. Griner had for years been known to fans of women's basketball, college player of the year, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA all-star who dominated her sport.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) FILE - WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 27, 2022. Her case not only brought unprecedented public attention to the dozens of Americans wrongfully detained by foreign governments, but it also emerged as a major inflection point in U.S.-Russia diplomacy at a time of deteriorating relations prompted by Moscow's war against Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File) FILE - WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner sits in a cage at a court room prior to a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 27, 2022. Now that she's back in the U.S., Griner plans to be out of the public spotlight for awhile spending time with her wife. She hasn't said if she'll ever play basketball again. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File) FILE - In this image made from video provided by Russian Federal Security Service, WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner sits in the plane as she flies to Abu Dhabi to be exchanged for Russian citizen Viktor Bout, in Russia, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (Russian Federal Security Service via AP) FILE - United States' Brittney Griner bites her gold medal after beating Spain at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. Griner had for years been known to fans of women's basketball, college player of the year, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA all-star who dominated her sport. But her arrest on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport in February elevated her profile in ways neither she nor her supporters would have ever hoped for, making her by far the most high-profile American to be jailed abroad. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) FILE - Carly Givens of Phoenix shows support for Brittney Griner, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Phoenix. Griner had for years been known to fans of women's basketball, college player of the year, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA all-star who dominated her sport. But her arrest on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport in February elevated her profile in ways neither she nor her supporters would have ever hoped for, making her by far the most high-profile American to be jailed abroad. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File) FILE - Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner (42) shoots against Chicago Sky's Azura Stevens (30) during the first half of Game 4 of the WNBA Finals, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Chicago. She hasn't said if she'll ever play basketball again. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File) FILE - Baylor's Brittney Griner celebrates her team's 56-51 win over Texas Tech in an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, in Waco, Texas. Griner had for years been known to fans of women's basketball, college player of the year, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA all-star who dominated her sport. But her arrest on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport in February elevated her profile in ways neither she nor her supporters would have ever hoped for, making her by far the most high-profile American to be jailed abroad. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File) FILE - Baylor's Brittney Griner, right, picks up head coach Kim Mulkey after Baylor beat Duke 51-48 in the NCAA Memphis Regional championship college basketball game Monday, March 29, 2010, in Memphis, Tenn. Griner had for years been known to fans of women's basketball, college player of the year, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA all-star who dominated her sport. But her arrest on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport in February elevated her profile in ways neither she nor her supporters would have ever hoped for, making her by far the most high-profile American to be jailed abroad. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)