New York trainer Sandy Brondello was once on her approach to her workforce’s Friday morning shootaround when she heard the “disappointing” news that Russia had extended Brittney Griner’s pre-trial detention another 30 days.
Griner’s original detention date was set to end on May 19. The two-time Olympic gold medalist who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, was detained at a Moscow airport in February after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage. Griner, 31, faces drug smuggling charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The 30-day extension could mean Griner’s case could go to trial soon.
Whatever is next on the legal horizon didn’t take the sting out of the latest news for Brondello, who coached Griner for eight years in Phoenix before taking over the New York Liberty this year.
“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 said. “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 brief hearing at a court outside Moscow handcuffed, wearing an orange hoodie and holding her face down.
While the extension wasn’t sudden, avid gamers around the league noticed the pictures and video of Griner and mentioned it was once all tough to peer.
“It was a gut punch. I saw the pictures,” said Fever guard Danielle Robinson who played 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 remaining summer season, mentioned she does not perceive the whole 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 spouse Cherelle, who graduated from North Carolina Central University previous this month, hasn’t mentioned a lot concerning the rigidity on their circle of relatives.
The information of Griner’s detention being prolonged had Mercury guard Brianna Turner recalling excellent deeds performed by means of her teammate, shifting her to put up on Twitter hours later a tale of ways Griner would save her leftover meals and provides it to a homeless individual.
“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.”
Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas began posting on Twitter two weeks in the past a depend of the times that Griner’s been detained out of the country. Friday was once the eighty fifth day.
Hours after the extension Kagawa Colas tweeted that Griner’s workforce expects the federal government to “use all options available to immediately and safely bring Griner home.”
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 trainer Dawn Staley.
All appear decided to verify Griner’s identify and detention stay on other people’s minds, then as Wings trainer Vickie Johnson mentioned, “let the league take care of it, and her lawyers.”
“Only thing I can do, I’m great friends with Brittney, is continue to pray for her and her family,” Johnson mentioned. “Hopefully, she’s OK mentally and physically.”
AP Sports Writer Noah Trister contributed to this story from Washington.
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