WNBA star Brittney Griner denied house arrest, detention in Russia extended

WNBA star Brittney Griner denied house arrest, detention in Russia extended
Photo source: Instagram – @brittneygriner

Brittney Griner remains behind bars in Russia after a court appearance on March 17.

Griner’s legal team requested the WNBA star to be released on house arrest, which the court denied, according to multiple reports. The 6-foot-7 athlete pled not guilty to her drug charge, according to VladTV. Griner’s detention has also been extended for another two months, with her next court appearance scheduled for May 19. The Phoenix Mercury‘s season begins on May 6.

Griner was arrested in February after Russian officers found hash oil in the basketball star’s belongings once she landed back in the country from New York. In the American offseason, Griner plays for Russian powerhouse UMMC, where she’s paid $1 million, over four times the WNBA supermax contract of $221,450. Russia has a history of racism against Black people and isn’t known as the most welcoming place for members of the LGBT community, Griner falls under both categories.

There is even more growing concern Griner’s detention time may be prolonged as her celebrity makes her a bargaining tool for Russia, currently at war with American-ally Ukraine. Multiple U.S. politicians have publicly called for Griner’s release back to the States, including Hilary Clinton.

Last summer, the WNBA named Griner as one of its 25 greatest players ever. The dominant center changed the landscape of women’s basketball by dunking in games consistently. She owns the league’s dunking record by a large margin at 23 career dunks. The seven-time WNBA All-Star averaged 17.7 points and 7.6 rebounds last season for the Phoenix Mercury. She’s won two Olympic gold medals with the United States, a 2014 WNBA championship with Phoenix and an NCAA championship with Baylor.

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