On Monday, Engelbert said in her opening remarks to reporters: “I wanted to start by saying that we continue to work hard to bring Britney Grenier home. This is an unimaginable situation for BG.”
Russian authorities arrested Greiner, who plays for Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason, at Moscow’s airport in February and charged him with smuggling large quantities of narcotics – an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Griner was the first pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft and is one of the league’s best players of all time.
“She still has our full support, she’s just been a great guy in the league,” Engelbert said. “I couldn’t be more realistic about the situation she’s in.” “Sure, we’re trying everything we can, in every corner, working through her legal representation, her agent, elected leaders, management; just everyone in our ecosystem to try and find ways to get her home safely and as quickly as they can.”
“I know we are all frustrated, but we need to be patient. I know the players have been great at following the advice they have been given and we are getting it in order not to jeopardize her safety in any way. We are continuing to follow that advice and keep working on it.”
Greiner has been able to meet her representative in Russia twice a week and is also able to receive letters and correspondence, ESPN’s Holly Rowe reported on Monday.
On Monday, the commissioner also expressed her personal commitment to Griner and to get her home safely.
“I used to tell my daughter when she was little – and she’s still now in her twenties – ‘I’d go to the end of the earth to help you if you ever got in trouble,’ and I say the same thing about Britney Greiner.”
Engelbert also announced that the WNBA intends to launch a charitable effort in all 12 markets to honor Griner in the lead up to the 2022 season.
“As we work hard to bring Britney home, we will have a league-wide charitable initiative led by Phoenix Mercury, honoring BG and modeled on her work,” Engelbert said.
“BG, for those who don’t know, founded an organization in 2016 called BG’s Heart and Soul Shoe Drive. The activities we will be doing, which will be led by Mercury, are meant to remind us of BG’s spirit of giving and doing the work she would have done if she was here and certainly the work you’ll be joining us in.” when you come back “.
The WNBA season begins May 6.
A Moscow court announced last month that it had extended Grenier’s detention until May 19, according to Russia’s state news agency TASS. A trial date has not been set, a source close to the situation told CNN at the time.
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