brittney-griner’s-wife-posts-on-instagram-about-wnba-star’s-detainment-in-russia

WNBA star Brittney Griner’s wife has posted to Instagram about the Phoenix Mercury player’s detention in Russia.

Griner was detained after Russian officials said they found vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow.

The offense could carry up to 10 years in prison.

Griner’s wife Cherelle Griner posted an image of her and her wife to Instagram on Saturday, thanking supporters and asking for privacy as the family navigates returning Brittney Griner home.

“Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life,” Cherelle Griner wrote.

She acknowledged that many were hoping for more details about Brittney Griner’s status.

“I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details,” she wrote. “Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely.”

Griner is a center for WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and has played in Russia for the last seven years in the winter.

She last played for her Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29 before the league took a two-week break in early February for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.

Phoenix Mercury said in a statement it has been in contact with her family and representative.

“We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home,” the team said.

USA Basketball tweeted that it was aware of and closely monitoring Griner’s situation.

“Brittney has always handled herself with the utmost professionalism during her long tenure with USA Basketball and her safety and wellbeing are our primary concerns,” the tweet states.

The U.S. State Department has issued a “do not travel” advisory for American citizens thinking of heading to Russia and urged all U.S. citizens to leave immediately as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine escalates.

Kalhan Rosenblatt is a reporter covering youth and internet culture for NBC News, based in New York.

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