New York coach Sandy Brondello was on his way to her teams Friday morning when she heard the disappointing news Russia had.extended the detention of Brittney Grinersanother 30 days.
The initial date of Griners’s detention was set to end on May 19th. The double Olympic gold medalist, who plays for Phoenix Mercury, was stopped at a Moscow airport in February after it was suspected that steam canisters containing cannabis-derived oil were found in her luggage. Griner, 31, faces charges of drug smuggling that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The 30-day extension could mean the Griners case could go to trial soon.
Whatever the future on the legal horizon did not take the sting out of the latest news about Brondellon, who ran Greener for eight years in Phoenix before taking over at Liberty’s New York this year.
Of course, very disappointed when I heard that they are extending BG’s stay in Russia and we have to do everything we can to get it out, Brondello said. We must liberate BG. We need her back here. Hopefully the government can do something about this sooner rather than later.
The 6-foot-9 Griner appeared for the short hearing in a court outside Moscow handcuffed, wearing an orange hood and holding his face down.
While the extension was not unexpected, players across the league saw itGriner photos and videosand said it was all hard to see.
It was a punch in the gut. I looked at the photos, said Fever guard Danielle Robinson, who played with Griner in Phoenix for a season. You will get to know her and her family, what she is for, what she represents. Knowing her heart, she has such a heart for other people, she is extremely sad.
Ariel Atkins, who played with Griner at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, said she does not understand everything about the Griners case, but that she just wants to do everything I can to help bring her home. Just a devastating situation. I can not imagine how her family feels now.
Griners’s wife, Cherelle, who graduated from Central University of North Carolina earlier this month, has not said much about the stress on their family.
The news of Griners’s detention being extended made Mercury guard Brianna Turner recall the good deeds done by her teammate, prompting her to post on Twitter a few hours later a story of how Griner would save his food. its remaining and give it to a homeless person.
Of course with him in my mind I thought I would do the same todayWrote Turner. Sometimes a free meal can make a person a day. If possible, do something good for a stranger today.
Griners agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas started posting on Twitter two weeks ago a count of the days the Griners were banned overseas. Friday wason the 85th day.
A few hours after the Kagawa Colas extensionposted on Twitterthat the Griners team expects the government to use all available options to bring Griner home immediately and safely.
Others have followed suit and are posting on Twitter about the days when Griner was arrested, including Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.
Everyone seems determined to make sure Griners’s name and detention remain in people’s minds, then as Wings coach Vickie Johnson said, let the league take care of her and her lawyers.
The only thing I can do, I’m a great friend of Brittney, is to keep praying for her and her family, Johnson said. I hope she is mentally and physically well.
AP Sports writer Noah Trister contributed to this story from Washington.
To see more stories on Griner: https://apnews.com/hub/brittney-griner
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