Brittney Griner Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner talks with a referee after a no-call against the Las Vegas Aces on Sept. 8, 2019, in Phoenix. Phoenix Mercury, Brittney Griner

Despite hopes that WNBA star Brittney Griner might be released from a Russian prison soon, her detention has been extended until July 2, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

Griner has been detained in Russian since February 17 when airport authorities allege to have found vape cartridges containing a cannabis derivative inside her luggage.

While the U.S. government initially downplayed its interest in Griner’s case out of concern that it would escalate, the State Department reclassified Griner as wrongfully detained in May and transferred oversight of the case to the State Department Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA).

State Department officials are said to have met with members of the Phoenix Mercury, Griner’s WNBA team, on Monday.

“There is a lot involved in getting her back home and safe, they’re working relentlessly,” Mercury star Diana Taurasi said after the meeting. “We’re here to do whatever we can to amplify and keep BG at the forefront, which is more important than any basketball game and anything else that’s going on in our lives. We want BG to come home as soon as possible, it’s number one on our list.”

Griner’s wife has led a push to get President Joe Biden to get Griner out of prison, where conditions have been described as being extremely grim and inhumane.

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