Welcome home, Brittney

Brittney Griner is set to have a Christmas to remember forever and ever, as she is headed home after serving nine months in a Russian prison … for bringing hashish oil into the country.

Big deal, you say? You bet it is!

Griner happens to be a first-rank celebrity. She is an accomplished basketball star, a Texas native and a woman who was being punished seemingly just for being an American while her nation was engaged in diplomatic warfare against Russia over the Ukraine War.

President Biden’s team reportedly negotiated a deal in a prisoner swap. The Russians get in return a convicted arms dealer named Viktor Bout, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence in this country.

It’s fair to ask: Is this a fair swap with individuals accused of similarly heinous crimes? On the surface, no. The Russians are getting more out of this deal than we are. On the other hand, we are bringing home a young woman who possesses considerable celebrity status.

It’s a big win for the White House.

Now, let’s look briefly at another angle. Another American, Paul Whelan, remains locked up in Russia. His family wanted him included in a Griner release deal. They are heartbroken that Whelan — arrested in 2018 on a phony spy charge — remains in prison. Perhaps now the White House can put the arm on Russians to set Whelan free as well.

Griner’s offense would be considered a misdemeanor in most civilized countries. Instead, she got a nine-year sentence in the slammer. Her family begged President Biden to do what he could to bring her home. The president has succeeded and for that he deserves high praise.

There’s more work to do, though. Paul Whelan and anyone else held without merit need to come home, too.

However, Brittney Griner is coming home to her family’s welcome embrace.

Merry Christmas, Brittney.