Russia has extended the detention of WNBA player Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner at the 2012 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, CA
Brittney Griner at the 2012 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, CA

According to ESPN, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Brittney Griner will remain in Russia for at least another two months after a Russian court extended her otherworldly detention until May 19.

This comes by way of a report from Russia's state news agency, TASS.

The Arrest

Brittney Griner, a professional basketball player, was reportedly arrested on February 17 after Russian authorities found her in possession of vape cartridges by way of her luggage. Per ESPN, the maximum penalty for her offense is ten years in prison.

Griner has reportedly played professional ball in Russia since 2015. For seven years, Brittney has played in Russia during the WNBA's off-season. As some may already know, playing overseas during the off-season is not uncommon for American athletes.

She typically plays there during the WNBA’s off-season and earns more than $1 million per season. Athletes who double-dip by playing in multiple countries while on vacation are not uncommon.

Eleven other WNBA players played with Brittney in Russia and Ukraine this past winter season—but all have since left the region following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine days after Brittney's arrest.

Brittney Griner in her Phoenix Mercury uniform
Brittney Griner wearing her Phoenix Mercury uniform

What Happens Now?

The player’s list of supporters has been steadily growing. Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted “Free Brittney” on Wednesday after an article appeared in the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) detailing Brittney Griner’s detention.

The athlete's detention, which was extended Wednesday until May 19, means she will miss the start of the WNBA season.

Per ESPN, she is a WNBA champion, seven-time All-Star, and two-time Olympic gold medalist.

This is a developing story.

"American basketball star Brittney Griner's arrest has been extended until May 19, according to Russian state news." – CNN Breaking News

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