Griner’s Extended Detention Disappointing to Her WNBA Family | Sports News

 Griner’s Extended Detention Disappointing to Her WNBA Family | Sports News

By DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer

New York coach Sandy Brondello was on his way to his team on Friday morning’s shootaround when he heard the “disappointing” news that Russia had extended Brittney Griner’s pre-trial detention by another 30 days.

Griner’s original detention date was set to end on May 19. The two -time Olympic gold medalist, who played for Phoenix Mercury, was detained at a Moscow airport in February after vape cartridges containing oil were recovered. from cannabis allegedly found in his luggage. Griner, 31, faces drug trafficking charges with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The 30 -day extension could mean Griner’s case could be heard soon.

Whatever the next legal landscape didn’t get sick of the latest news for Brondello, who coached Griner for eight years in Phoenix before getting New York Liberty this year.

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“We were obviously very disappointed to hear that they had extended BG’s stay in Russia and we had to do everything we could to get him out,” Brondello said. “We need to release BG. We need him back here. Hopefully the government can do something about it sooner rather than later.”

The 6-foot-9 Griner appeared for a brief hearing on a court outside Moscow handcuffed, wearing an orange hoodie and lowered his face.

While the extension was unexpected, players across the league saw Griner’s photos and video and said it was all hard to see.

“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 him and his family, what he is, what he stands for. Knowing his heart, he has such a heart for other people, very sad. ”

Ariel Atkins, who played with Griner at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, said he doesn’t understand everything about Griner’s case but “he just wants to do everything I can to help him get him home. Just a detrimental situation.I can’t imagine how his family feels right now.

Griner’s wife Cherelle, who graduated from North Carolina Central University earlier this month, said little about their family’s stress.

News of Griner’s imprisonment was extended by Mercury guard Brianna Turner who remembers the good deeds her teammate did, prompting her to post on Twitter a few hours later a story about how Griner kept his leftover food and gave it to a homeless person.

“Of course with him I think I’m thinking of doing the same now” Turner wrote. “Sometimes free food makes a person happy. If possible, do something good for a stranger now.

Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas began posting on Twitter two weeks ago a number of days Griner was detained abroad. Friday is the 85th day.

Hours after the extension, Kagawa Colas tweeted that Griner’s team expects the government to “use all available options immediately and safely to bring Griner home.”

Others followed suit and tweeted about the days Griner was detained, including Seattle Storm All-Star Breanna Stewart and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.

Everyone seems determined to make sure Griner’s name and detention stay in people’s minds, then as Wings coach Vickie Johnson said, “let the league take care of it, and his lawyers. “

“The only thing I can do, I’m good friends with Brittney, is to keep praying for her and her family,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, he’s okay mentally and physically.”

AP Sports Writer Noah Trister contributed to this story from Washington.

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