As supporters of Brittney Griner continue to put pressure on the White House and State Department to help in her release, Russian officials have extended her detainment through at least July 2, CNN reported.
This comes as a major blow as the WNBA has been pleading with President Joe Biden to do more to bring Griner home.
State Department officials met this week with members of Griner’s WNBA team about her months long detention in Russia and the Biden administration’s efforts to secure her release.
Officials said there is a lot involved in getting her back home and safe, and they’re working relentlessly to do so.
Her fellow Phoenix Mercury team members say they are doing whatever they can also to amplify and keep BG at the forefront, which they feel is more important than any basketball game.
“We are on day 116 since BG has been wrongfully detained,” head coach Vanessa Nygaard said. “It was great to hear from the State Department that we should continue to amplify that message and that we should continue to press all those who have any influence or power to help bring BG home. She’s our teammate, she’s an American and we want her back home.”
According to CNN, Nygaard on Sunday extended an invitation to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to attend the team’s game when the Mercury visit the Washington Mystics on Tuesday.
“You’re welcome to come into our locker room and talk to us. You’re also welcome to just enjoy the game, you can see what our team looks like without Brittney Griner, but also we would just love to see you as a supporter of our team.
Griner was detained on Feb. 17 at an airport in Russia after authorities there said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing a cannabis derivative. In May, the State Department reclassified Griner as wrongfully detained.
The Biden Administration says it’s working to bring Griner and another American, Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, home from Russia.
We send our prayers for both of them and their families.