CHESAPEAKE—Keiara Avant is happy to be home safe and sound in Hampton Roads after leaving crisis-embroiled Ukraine.
Avant, 22, lived in Ukraine for the past few months playing for the country’s basketball team.
The Hampton University graduate flew back to the United States Thursday evening where her family and friends eagerly awaited her return.
"It was a great opportunity I had over there but I'm very happy to be home on American soil," said Avant.
Avant lived in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, not far from Independence Square where protestors clashed during the deadly uprising.
Avant says she and the other American basketball players decided to leave once Russian troops seized control of the Crimean Peninsula.
“I was like why are they here. There are thousands of them, armed, so I didn't know what could possibly happen with Ukraine at that time,” said Avant.
The past few weeks have been tense for Avant’s family who watched the crisis unfold on the news at home.
"It was extremely nerve racking. We didn't know what would happen,” said Keshia Brown, Avant’s sister.
Avant says she’s going to take some time off and is debating whether to head overseas again to play basketball or go to graduate school.