Mercury star Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia continues

US basketball star Brittney Griner will remain in Russian custody until at least July 2 after her sentence was extended for a third time.

PHOENIX – US basketball star Brittney Griner will remain in Russian detention until at least July 2 after her detention was extended for a third time, Russian state media reported.

The report did not include a timetable for Griner’s trial, but quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying she would not be considered for a prisoner swap until her case was investigated.

The 31-year-old Phoenix Mercury Center was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling after Russian airport authorities claimed in February they found cannabis products in her luggage.

Her supporters have expressed concern that Moscow will use her as a bargaining chip amid tensions over the war in Ukraine.

Griner’s coaches and teammates met with US State Department officials Monday and urged them to take her home.

“We’re here to do whatever it takes to keep BG going strong and at the top, which is more important than any basketball game and anything else that’s going on in our lives,” Mercury guard Diana Taurasi said. “We want BG to come home as soon as possible, it’s number one on our list”

Arizona officials are working on a bipartisan deal to secure Griner’s release along with another American security expert from Michigan, Paul Whelan.

But officials offered few details about this potential deal.

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Arizona sports

The city of Phoenix is ​​home to five major professional sports league teams; The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks, and the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

The Cardinals have made State Farm Stadium in Glendale their home stadium, and the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix is ​​home to both the Suns and the Mercury. The Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League also play in the Footprint. Phoenix has a football team with USL’s Phoenix Rising FC.

The Valley hosts several major sporting events annually, including the Fiesta Bowl and college football’s Cactus Bowl; the PGA Tour’s busiest event, the Waste Management Phoenix Open; NASCAR events each spring and fall; and Cactus League Spring Training. Mercury star Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia continues

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