New York coach Sandy Brondello was on her solution to her crew’s Friday morning shootaround when she heard the “disappointing” information that Russia had prolonged Brittney Griner‘s pre-trial detention one other 30 days.
Griner’s authentic detention date was set to finish on May 19. The two-time Olympic gold medalist who performs for the Phoenix Mercury, was detained at a Moscow airport in February after vape cartridges containing oil derived from hashish had been allegedly present in her baggage. Griner, 31, faces drug smuggling prices that carry a most penalty of 10 years in jail.
The 30-day extension may imply Griner‘s case may go to trial quickly.
Whatever is subsequent on the authorized horizon didn’t take the sting out of the newest information for Brondello, who coached Griner for eight years in Phoenix earlier than taking on the New York Liberty this 12 months.
“Obviously very disappointed to hear they are extending BG’s stay in Russia and we’ve got to do everything we can to get her out,” Brondello mentioned. “We have to free BG. We need her back here. Hopefully the government can do something about it sooner rather than later.”
The 6-foot-9 Griner appeared for the temporary listening to at a court docket outdoors Moscow handcuffed, carrying an orange hoodie and holding her face down.
While the extension wasn’t surprising, gamers throughout the league noticed the photographs and video of Griner and mentioned it was all tough to see.
“It was a gut punch. I saw the pictures,” mentioned Fever guard Danielle Robinson who performed with Griner in Phoenix for a season. “You get to know her and her family, what she’s all about, what she stands for. Knowing her heart, she has such a heart for other people, it’s super sad.”
Ariel Atkins, who performed with Griner within the Tokyo Olympics final summer season, mentioned she doesn’t perceive every thing in Griner’s case however that she “just wants to do anything that I can to help bring her home. Just a devastating situation. I can’t imagine how her family feels right now.”
Griner‘s wife Cherelle, who graduated from North Carolina Central University earlier this month, hasn’t mentioned a lot concerning the stress on their household.
The information of Griner’s detention being prolonged had Mercury guard Brianna Turner recalling good deeds achieved by her teammate, transferring her to publish on Twitter hours later a narrative of how Griner would save her leftover meals and provides it to a homeless particular person.
“Of course with her on my mind I thought to do the same today” Turner wrote. “Sometimes a free meal can make a person’s day. If possible, do something nice for a stranger today.”
Others have adopted swimsuit and are tweeting concerning the days Griner has been detained, together with Seattle Storm All-Star Breanna Stewart and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.
All appear decided to make sure Griner‘s name and detention remain on people’s minds, then as Wings coach Vickie Johnson mentioned, “let the league take care of it, and her lawyers.”
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