Moscow (AFP) – As a professional basketball player in a Russian prison for more than 100 days, US Olympic champion Britney Greiner’s status is also close to that of German national player Sato Sabali.
“We have to get more views, and we have to bring Britney Grenier home because it’s just an incredible situation. She’s two meters tall and she’s probably sitting in a little cell for something very controversial.” “I feel close to her because she is a WNBA player and she was in Russia. I was in Turkey at the time.”
Detained since February 17
Grenier, two-time Olympic champion and star player for WNBA, Phoenix Mercury, was arrested February 17 at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on drug possession charges, and has been in custody ever since. As reported by the Interfax news agency in early March, citing Russian customs, so-called vape cartridges and cannabis oil were discovered in the luggage of Americans during the examination. Griner faces five to ten years in prison.
The latest published case from Russia is a decision issued in mid-May, when pretrial detention was extended by a month. When there’s an open hearing just like the question of whether it’s actually just a matter of drug abuse or whether the Russian leadership is also not pursuing political intent — and wants to use Griner, for example, as a bargaining chip for the exchange of Russian prisoners in the United States. In any case, the US State Department classifies Greener’s arrest as unlawful, but he is generally very frank when it comes to information about her case.
To make money in Russia
Like many other WNBA professionals, Griner played in Europe for months to earn extra income – just as Sabally was still active in Turkey until a few weeks ago and won the championship there with Istanbul. “She’s a professional WNBA player and she should earn enough money to never have to go to Europe at all. But it’s something we have to do, and I always say in quotes,” Sabali explained. “We want to develop further and not sit around for large parts of the year and leave good money on the table.” The WNBA season in the United States usually only lasts from May to September.
In particular, offers from Russian clubs cannot be rejected from a financial point of view, the 24-year-old Berliner reported. “You can’t say no to Russia. This is controversial now, even with the war. If everything is normal, I will go to Russia,” said Sabali, despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
She earned about $80,000 in her third season with the Dallas Wings. “That would do the trick, but what lifestyle as a professional player is? In addition, we only have 10 or 15 years, and that’s not something we can do for 40 years,” Sabali explained. “Then the question is, do you just take 80,000 or do you keep playing basketball and win something extra. Multiplayer, multiplayer, multiplayer at that. Certainly in Russia.”
pressure on the US government
The NBA basketball players don’t have to contend with any of this — and Sabali believes none of them are still in Russian custody after such a long run. “That’s something that wouldn’t be the case if she was a man and an NBA player in my opinion.” Like many WNBA and NBA professionals, the German international recently joined calls to put more pressure on the US government.
“There’s only one person who can bring her back, and that’s our president,” Greiner’s wife Cheryl said in an interview with ESPN. She now expects Biden to use it to release Britney Greiner. Cheryl Greiner said the last time she heard her wife’s voice was the day she was arrested. That was 15 weeks ago.