Becky Hammon, Coach and Former Russian Basketball Star, Urges Putin to Release Brittney Griner

Becky Hammonone of the main women’s professional basketball coaches, and who in her day represented Russia in the Olympic Gamescalled on the Russian president Vladimir Putin to do the right thing and free the star from the WNBA Brittney Griner.

The coach of the Vegas Aces stated that it was upsetting to see a colleague from the women’s basketball community locked up for almost six months, in which the government of USA has named as a unjust and unjustified detention.

It is something that obviously touches me very closely, so I only ask the Russian Government to do the right thing. It’s never too late to do what’s right […] We are asking for mercy. We ask kindness. And we’re asking you to bring home BG.

hamon has played six times WNBA All-Star and on multiple occasions he played for Russian teams. He was nationalized for Russia in 2008 when he supported the team to get the bronze in the Olympic Games.

In an interview for Reutersthe 45-year-old coach also stressed that the situation would not be taken so lightly if it were a professional player in the men’s branch.

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It’s hard to imagine, though, that if this were, you know, LeBron James, that he’d still be sitting there in jail.

Although Hammon has previously stated that as an athlete he did not position himself politically, during the interview he appealed to Putin and Russian authorities to let Griner return to the United States.

If (Griner) were to serve a (prison) sentence, I think there would have to be bad implications internationally in the sports world. […] There are certain ways to put pressure on Russia. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

At this time, it is expected Grinertwo-time Olympic gold medalist, return to the Russian court on Thursday for closing arguments in his trial.

The American, pivot in the phoenix mercuryfaces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison for drug charges after being detained at the Moscow airport in Sheremetyevo on February 17 with vape cartridges in his luggage that contained cannabis oil.

Her arrest came as the basketball player was on her way to join her team in Russia during the American offseason, and came just days before Russia will launch the full-scale invasion on Ukraineplacing Griner at the center of a geopolitical dispute.

(With information from Reuters)

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