WNBA superstar Brittney Griner sent a message of gratitude to her supporters from a Russian prison on her 32nd birthday Tuesday.
“All the support and love are definitely helping me,” Griner said through her lawyers Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, according to Reuters.
Both lawyers spent time with Griner in a Moscow pre-trial detention facility on Tuesday, according to CNN. Griner is waiting for her appeal to be heard by a Moscow region court next Tuesday.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist was given a nine-year sentence in a Russian prison on Aug. 4 for reportedly carrying cannabis in vape containers while entering a Moscow airport in February.
In July, Biden administration officials offered Russia a “substantial proposal” to get Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, back to the U.S. According to the Associated Press, a potential prisoner swap for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer, may have been part of the proposal.
No swap has been officially confirmed.
In an Oct. 5 interview with “CBS Mornings” host Gayle King, Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, said she feels as if her wife is a “hostage” in Russia.
“It’s like a movie for me,” Cherelle explained. “I’m like, ‘In no world did I ever think, you know, our president and a foreign nation president would be sitting down having to discuss the freedom of my wife.’ And so to me, as much as everybody’s telling me a different definition of what B.G. is, it feels to me as if she’s a hostage.”
“I’ve felt every moment of the grueling seven months without her,” Cherelle said in the video. “I want to thank President Biden for the administration’s efforts to secure her release.”
Cherelle continued: “As my family and I continue on this journey, I’d like to thank our friends, leaders and supporters who continue to stand with us and advocate for Brittney’s swift and safe return. Let’s share a unified commitment to bringing all Americans home to their families and loved ones.”