Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson has broken down in tears after seeing fellow WNBA player Brittney Griner in handcuffs while at a court in Russia.
Photos did the rounds earlier this week that showed the clearly-distressed two-time Olympic gold medalist being escorted to the courtroom by Russian guards.
Griner was charged with drug smuggling four months ago when she was allegedly found carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.
On Monday (June 27) Griner’s lawyer revealed the court had extended her detention for the duration of the trial – setting a date of July 1st for the trial.
Now Aces forward A’ja Wilson has opened up on her heartbreaking feelings about the situation following Las Vegas' match-up against the Los Angeles Sparks.
"I hated seeing it," Wilson said.
"It made my stomach turn."
"BG’s our sister and I can't imagine what she's going through and I pray every single day that the people that are in high ups are doing what they need to do to get her home because it's unacceptable.
“And to see her like that, I can’t even put it into words.
“We talk about how great she is as a player, but that’s a person, that’s someone’s wife and she can’t even communicate with them.
“I just pray every day that she comes home and that she’s just healthy, because it’s so much deeper than the physical, it’s the mental, it’s the emotional.
“Anyone that knows BG knows her spirit is the best thing about her… and I hope that isn’t stripped from her.”
Griner was detained just days before Vladimir Putin’s Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting many to believe she was simply being held as a ‘political pawn’.
Australian basketball legend Shane Heal tweeted: “I feel sick. Poor girl held as a political pawn. Imagine if she was your daughter and there’s nothing you can do. Her family and friends are powerless.”
Griner had her detention extended for another six months on Monday (June 27), and is facing 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
In May, the US State Department classified Griner’s arrest as being wrongfully detained with the government's hostage affairs team working to get her home.
Griner was playing basketball in Russia while the WNBA was in the off-season, quite common for American woman’s basketballers who are looking to earn money while the season is on break.
Featured Image Credit: Rashad Milligan/YouTube. UPI / Alamy.