The Russian government will hear the appeal of imprisoned WNBA star Brittney Griner on Oct. 25th. While prepping for the appeal, Griner’s lawyers offered to bring her a basketball to help her pass the time of her imprisonment.
The star had a surprising response.
Griner reportedly relayed that playing basketball while incarcerated would be “too painful.”
Russian authorities arrested Griner in February and accused her of carrying hashish oil while boarding a domestic flight with her Russian Premiere League team. Griner, who recently turned 32, pleaded guilty to the charges, and a judge sentenced her to nine years in prison.
Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who works on hostage negotiations as part of his self-named foundation, said recently that he was “cautiously optimistic” the Russians would release Griner “by the end of the year.” An aide for Vladimir Putin threw water on that idea, saying it was “not currently a priority” for the Russian government.
The administration of United States president Joe Biden is currently negotiating for the release of Griner and former Marine Paul Whalen. Those efforts have proven fruitless.