White House tight-lipped on missing WNBA star

Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during the first half in Game Four of the 2021 WNBA semifinals at Footprint Center on October 06

Ms Griner will be held until finally at the very least 19 Could, according to Russian condition media

When the WNBA period recommendations off up coming month, one particular of the league’s major stars will still be missing.

The White Residence provided no updates on Monday about Phoenix Mercury centre Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia considering that February.

Ms Griner, 31, is believed to be in jail on drug prices, immediately after airport customs officials allegedly observed hashish oil in her baggage.

She could facial area up to 10 many years in prison if convicted.

Ms Griner is extensively found as the ideal woman basketball player of all time. She is just one of just a handful of gamers to have received a school championship, WNBA and EuroLeague titles and an Olympic gold medal. Considering the fact that 2015 she has played for a Russian staff during the WNBA off-season.

“All of her achievements is significantly ahead any male counterparts that you could seriously think of,” said Melissa Isaacson, a sportswriter and professor at Northwestern College in the US point out of Illinois.

But just about two months after her arrest, tiny is acknowledged about her conditions. The US state department, the WNBA and household and friends of Ms Griner have for the most aspect remained tranquil about her arrest.

Last thirty day period, a Moscow court announced it would prolong Ms Griner’s detention until eventually 19 May possibly, according to condition news agency Tass.

Requested about Ms Griner on Monday, White Residence push secretary Jen Psaki offered minimal about the player’s circumstance, but explained it was “not generally constructive” to chat about Us citizens detained abroad.

“It can, traditionally, impact our potential to convey them dwelling,” she claimed.

A condition division spokesman informed the BBC a consular officer experienced been granted a visit with Ms Griner previous month, on 23 March.

“We carry on to insist that they allow for steady, timely consular accessibility to all US citizen detainees in Russia,” the spokesman claimed in a assertion. “We are closely engaged on this circumstance and in repeated contact with Ms Griner’s authorized crew.”

Ms Griner’s absence will be all the additional apparent subsequent month when the WNBA starts its typical year. The veteran experienced been predicted to enjoy her eighth year with the Phoenix Mercury.

Final week, when the WNBA collected for schooling camp, some of her fellow players broke their silence, stating it could have been “any of us” arrested overseas.

Like Ms Griner, about fifty percent of WNBA players compete overseas in the WNBA off-year. For most, it is a way to increase their domestic revenue: WNBA gamers get around 5 occasions more in Russia than they do in the US.

“The major thing is the actuality that we have to go above there,” explained Seattle Storm player Breanna Stewart.

“WNBA players need to have to be valued in their place and they will not likely have to play overseas.”