At a house just outside Houston listed as Ms. Griner’s former address, a basketball hoop lay on the edge of the backyard grass, visible from a neat and quiet cul-de-sac. A sign on the front door suggested the long, difficult and public hardships his family faced: “No media. No trespassing. Just pray. Thanks.”
Ernest Alfaro, who lives two doors down, said he and his family were praying for Ms. Greiner and her father, Ray, who still lives at the home. In a statement, members of the Criner family thanked President Biden and his administration and asked for privacy “as we embark on this road to healing.”
Since Ms. Kreiner disappeared in a Russian prison, the pastor of a local church, Mr. Alfaro said, “We started praying for his family.”
Ms. Turner, Ms. Griner’s teammate, said she corresponded with Ms. Griner while she was in prison, but had not heard from her since she was transferred to the penal colony in mid-October.
“At first, I felt denial, and then I was confused, and then I was like, ‘How is this possible?'” Ms. Turner said. “There are millions of people living in the United States, and I know one of the few people detained in Russia. Even today, it felt surreal.
Vince Gosser, the president of Mercury, was also exchanging letters with Ms. Greiner. Mr. Wednesday tried to keep his plight in the public eye during his incarceration as a way to remind the Biden administration how many people love his home. Gosar said.
So did Chris Mosier, a transgender endurance athlete who competed internationally for the United States.
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