By DOUG FEINBERG
AP Basketball Writer
Brittney Griner’s loved ones and extended basketball family were ecstatic when news broke about her release from a Russian prison and that she was on her way back to the United States. It has been nearly 300 days since the WNBA star was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February when customs officials said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage. She was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison in August. Now four months later, she’s headed home after the U.S. and Russia had a high-level prisoner exchange Thursday. While it’s unclear right now if Griner wants to ever play basketball again, she would be welcomed back with open arms by both the WNBA and USA Basketball. The WNBA season begins May 19.