In the Women’s National Basketball Association, Brittney Yevette Griner (born October 18, 1990) plays for the Phoenix Mercury (WNBA). She was on the U.S. women’s national basketball team for a total of six WNBA All-Star seasons and has won two Olympic gold medals.
Rivals.com ranked Griner as the top female high school basketball player in the US in 2009. During the 2009 basketball season, she was named to the All-American team. When she was in college, she hoped it up for the Baylor Lady Bears in Waco, Texas.
In 2012, the three-time All-American had a career year, was recognized as the AP Player of the Year, most outstanding player of the final four, led Baylor to the national championship and received the ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete. Griner is the only player in NCAA history to record 2,000 points and 500 blocks on the basketball court.
Who is Brittney Grinner?
Brittney Griner, 31, is a household name in the Women’s National Basketball Association and a two-time Olympic winner (WBNA). The Texas native, who stands 6 feet 9 inches tall, was taken first overall by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2013 Women’s National Basketball Association (WBNA) draft.
Why was she detained in Russia?
Griner had vape cartridges containing hash oil in her luggage when she was apprehended at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on Feb. 17. Both medical and recreational use of marijuana are prohibited under Russian law. Before boarding her plane to Ekaterinburg, a city 1,400 kilometers (870 mi) east of Moscow, Griner was stopped at customs.
After spending some time at home in the United States, she was traveling to join her team, UMMC Ekaterinburg, for the post-season.
What did her defense argue?
While Griner has admitted guilt over the drug charges against her, she claims she had no intention of breaking Russian law. She testified that she did not know how the cartridges got into her bags. As she hurried to catch her flight, she considered the possibility that she had accidentally packed them.
Griner was prescribed medical marijuana in the United States to help with the discomfort of his ongoing injuries. Because it has fewer adverse effects than other opioids, medical marijuana is widely used as a therapeutic strategy among athletes in states where it is permitted.
What has been the reaction in the United States?
Many prominent Americans, including government leaders and athletes, believe Griner’s detention is politically motivated and have demanded her immediate release. Last month, Vice President Joe Biden called Griner’s wife Cherelle to assure her that he was doing everything he could to get her released from Russia.
Other notable American athletes have spoken out for Griner. When Megan Rapinoe, a member of the women’s national soccer team, won the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Vice President Joe Biden last month, she did so while wearing a white suit jacket with the initials “BG” embroidered on the lapels.
What can happen after the verdict?
After the verdict is handed down, Griner’s legal team claims it is “legally possible” for her to be exchanged. Antony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, alleged last week that the United States made a “substantial offer” to Russia in exchange for the freedom of American citizens such as Griner and former Marine Paul Whelancurrently being held in Russia.
Reports surfaced that Washington was willing to trade “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout, a convicted arms dealer. Russian authorities said no settlement had been reached, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that “megaphone diplomacy” from Washington would not help negotiations over a potential prisoner exchange.
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