Brittney Griner detention: Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductees call for her release from Russian prison

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Brittney Griner was on the minds of some of the new Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductees Saturday night.

Penny Taylor, a former first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Rockers in the WNBA, three-time WNBA champion and a two-time Olympic silver medalist for Australia, called on President Biden and the U.S. government to do more to bring Griner home from Russia.

A floor decal on the sideline features the initials of Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner and her jersey number 42 before a game between the Seattle Storm and the Las Vegas Aces at Michelob ULTRA Arena May 8, 2022, in Las Vegas.

A floor decal on the sideline features the initials of Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner and her jersey number 42 before a game between the Seattle Storm and the Las Vegas Aces at Michelob ULTRA Arena May 8, 2022, in Las Vegas.
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“BG is our family. She’s yours, too. The entire global sport community needs to come together to insist that she be a priority,” Taylor said.

DePaul coach Doug Bruno and former Los Angeles Sparks star DeLisha Milton-Jones also called for Griner to come home.

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“Brittney is a great human being. No one deserves what Brittney’s going through. Enough is (absolutely) enough. It’s time for the powers that be to bring Brittney home,” Bruno said.

A young Phoenix Mercury fan holds up a

A young Phoenix Mercury fan holds up a “Free Brittney Griner” sign during a WNBA game against the Las Vegas Aces May 6, 2022, in Phoenix.
(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

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Griner has been held in Russia since February, after Russian authorities said they found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. In early May, the U.S. government determined that Griner was being “wrongfully detained” by the Russian government.

In mid-May, Griner’s pre-trial detention was extended one month, according to her lawyer. Griner’s lawyer believes that the short extension signifies that the case will go to trial shortly.

Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury celebrates during Game 4 of the 2021 WNBA Finals Oct. 17, 2021, at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury celebrates during Game 4 of the 2021 WNBA Finals Oct. 17, 2021, at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and won the 2014 WNBA championship with the Mercury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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