By Jennifer Roback
WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia for over three months, and it still remains unclear when she will return home.
Since her detention began in February 2022, she has had little communication with her friends and family back home, but that has now changed.
On June 2, it was revealed that she can now receive emails and letters from WNBA players, according to the Associated Press.
Griner reportedly does not have access to an email account herself, but they are printed and delivered by her lawyer after they are vetted by Russian officials. She can then respond on paper or dictate a message through her lawyer, who does the official responding, the Associated Press adds.
“When she responded to my second letter it blew me away,” Los Angeles Sparks forward Amanda Zahui B. said of the new communication method. “I was like she responded!! In my third letter, I was like ‘hey best friend, we are officially best friends now.’”
Her goal, like many other WNBA players, is to make sure Griner knows they are thinking about her and doing everything they can to bring her home.
Griner's legal troubles first began when she was returning to the United States from Russia for the start of the WNBA season, and vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were allegedly found in her luggage.
“She jokes in her letters. I don’t know how she does it with what she’s going through. She’s an amazing soul,” Zahui B. continued. “She brings light in a situation like this. I don’t think a lot of people could manage to do that.”
Griner is now facing drug smuggling charges that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to the Associated Press.
Her detention was extended until at least the middle of June after the United States government said she is being wrongfully detained.
“It’s hard. It’s like so sensitive and you don’t want to say the wrong thing,” Mystics forward Elizabeth Williams added. “It’s also a sad situation and you don’t want to remind her it’s a sad situation. I think at the end of the day she’s happy to hear anything from anybody.”
More information about Griner's detention and what you can do to help can be found here.