Patrick Williams Oct 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams (44) drives to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

While WNBA star Brittney Griner toils in a Russian penal colony while serving a nine-year sentence over possession of cannabis oil residue, the United States and Russia continue to negotiate her potential release as part of a prisoner swap, though the details surrounding it continues to be murky.

After Russian authorities denied Griner’s appeal last month, she was moved to a maximum security penal colony 200 miles to the west of Moscow with “nightmare conditions.” This has raised the stakes for the U.S. to get Griner back home as soon as possible.

In the meantime, many people around the WNBA and NBA have shown their support for their fellow basketball player. As the Chicago Bulls head to Phoenix, home of Griner’s Phoenix Mercury, rising star Patrick Williams spoke with the Chicago Tribune about the imprisoned WNBA star.

“I can only imagine the things that she’s going through,” Williams told the Tribune after practice Tuesday. “Automatically, whenever we start talking about it as a team, I put my mind in her shoes. It’s just so tough.”

“We’ve definitely got to talk about it,” Williams added. “You’ve just got to pray and hope she makes it out. I think it’s truly unfair. She doesn’t deserve this at all. I’m just praying that she’s staying strong mentally, that she feels the love that we’re trying to give her from over here.”

Many Americans share Williams’ sentiments and it sounds like the U.S. government is doing what it can, given the roadblocks that Russia has put up.

[Chicago Tribune]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to