Russia Extends WNBA Star Brittney Griner's Detention 1 Month After Arrest

WNBA star Brittney Griner will continue to be detained in Russia. According to Russian news agency TASS via ESPN, Griner's detention for the possession of vape cartridges containing hash oil has been extended until May 19. TASS said the Khimkinsky court of the Moscow region ruled to detain Griner for at least two more months. 

"The court granted the petition of the investigation and extended the term of U.S. citizen Griner's detention until May 19," TASS said. Griner is currently sharing a cell with two other women with no previous convictions. It's been reported that Griner's only issue is the prison beds are too short for her 6-foot-7 frame. Griner, a seven-time WNBA All-Star, was detained in February after arriving at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on a flight from New York. She has played in Russia in the last seven years in the offseason during the winter, earning over $1 million per season. 

"Brittney Griner has the WNBA's full support and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States," the league said in a statement. Griner has played her entire WNBA career with the Phoenix Mercury. Along with being a seven-time All-Star, Griner won the scoring title twice, led the lead in blocks eight times and led the Mercury to a championship in 2014. 

Earlier this month, Griner's wife Cherelle spoke out on the arrest. "Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife's safe return from Russia," Cherelle wrote in an Instagram post. "Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life. I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details. Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely."

0comments

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert also shared her thoughts on the arrest. "Anyone who meets Brittney, the first thing you walk away with is how kind she is," Engelbert told PEOPLE. "She's just very low key and very humble. ... She's given strong support for the LGBTQ+ community, is an advocate [for social justice]. ... No matter who you talk to, if they know Brittney, you get that kind of story about how iconic she is and what a role model she is, both on and off the court."