Griner's ordeal in Russia weighs on minds of teammates

Russia Griner WNBA Player Experiences Basketball
Posted at 5:40 AM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 08:40:39-04

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Mercury are preparing for their WNBA season without teammate Brittney Griner.

The 6-foot-9 Griner remains in Russia after being detained after arriving at a Moscow airport in mid-February.

First-year Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard says she wakes up in the middle of the night sometimes, worrying about Griner.

Russian authorities said a search of Griner's luggage revealed vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Teammates are hoping for her safe return to the United States.

Her arrest came at a time of heightened political tensions over Ukraine.

Since then, Russia has invaded Ukraine and remains at war.