Russian authorities have detained Brittney Griner of the WNBA since February, and a recent extension of her detainment to May 19 puts her at serious risk of missing some of the regular season, which begins May 6.
The Phoenix Mercury center and former No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 WNBA Draft was arrested for allegedly carrying vape cartridges containing hash oil in a Moscow airport, which poses a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison in Russia.
At the 2022 WNBA Draft which kicked off on Monday, commissioner Cathy Engelbert addressed the international debacle involving Griner.
“We continue to be working diligently on bringing Brittney Griner home. This is an unimaginable situation for BG to be in. She continues to have our full support, and she’s just been a great person in the league.”
Engelbert didn’t mince words about the urgency of getting Griner out of Russia.
“I can’t be any more real about the situation she’s in,” Engelbert added, “and certainly we’re trying everything we can, every angle, working through with her legal representation, her agent, elected leaders, the administration and just everybody in our ecosystem to try and find ways to get her home safely and as quickly as we can.”
On Monday, University of Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard was selected No. 1 overall by the Atlanta Dream.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela