Brittney Griner Felt 'Less Than Human' During Harrowing Detainment in Russian Prison

WNBA star Brittney Griner opens up about the 10 challenging months she spent in a Russian prison, her courageous battle with despair, and her triumphant return to basketball.

AceShowbiz - In an emotional and candid first sit-down interview since her release from a Russian prison in December 2022, WNBA star Brittney Griner shares her harrowing journey of survival, despair, and ultimately, hope.

Griner, 33, will bare her soul in the upcoming special edition of ABC's "20/20" with Robin Roberts, set to air on May 1, detailing her experience from arrest to sentencing, and her life in a penal colony, to her emotional homecoming to the United States.

Griner's ordeal began in February 2022 when she was arrested at a Moscow airport for possessing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. The athlete, who was in Russia to play with the Russian Premier League during the WNBA off-season, pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Her resilience was put to the test as she faced inhumane conditions and battled suicidal thoughts during her detainment at the Female Penal Colony IK-2 in Yavas.

"My life is over right here," Griner admitted, reflecting on the moment of her arrest. The conditions she endured were dehumanizing, with Griner recounting moments where her mattress had a huge blood stain, and she lacked basic necessities like soap and toilet paper. "That was the moment where I felt less than human," she shared with Roberts.

Through the darkness, Griner's spirit never faltered. Her release was secured in December 2022, thanks to a one-for-one prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Following her return, Griner not only rejoined the Phoenix Mercury but also made her ninth WNBA All-Star appearance later that season. She is now preparing for the release of her memoir, "Coming Home", which will provide a deeper look into her "unfathomable period" of life, set to hit shelves on May 7.

The "20/20" special, titled "Prisoner in Russia: The Brittney Griner Interview," promises to be a compelling narrative of endurance, shedding light on Griner's wife Cherelle, her agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas, and Special Presidential Envoy of Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens.

The program will air at 10 P.M. ET on May 1 and will be available for streaming the next day on Hulu, offering an unmissable insight into the strength and resolve of one of basketball's inspiring figures.

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