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New York coach Sandy Brondello was on her way to her team's Friday morning shootaround when she heard the “disappointing" news that Russia had extended Brittney Griner's pre-trial detention another 30 days. Griner’s original detention date was set to end on May 19. The two-time Olympic gold medalist who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, was detained at a Moscow airport in February after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage. Griner, 31, faces drug smuggling charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.The 30-day extension could mean Griner's case could go to trial soon.Whatever is next on the legal horizon didn't take the sting out of the latest news for Brondello, who coached Griner for eight years in Phoenix before taking over the New York Liberty this year.“Obviously very disappointed to hear they are extending BG’s stay in Russia and we’ve got to do everything we can to get her out," Brondello said. "We have to free BG. We need her back here. Hopefully the government can do something about it sooner rather than later.”The 6-foot-9 Griner appeared for the brief hearing at a court outside Moscow handcuffed, wearing an orange hoodie and holding her face down. Hub peek embed (Russia-Ukraine) - Compressed layout (automatic embed) While the extension wasn't unexpected, players across the league saw the photos and video of Griner and said it was all difficult to see. “It was a gut punch. I saw the pictures," said Fever guard Danielle Robinson who played with Griner in Phoenix for a season. “You get to know her and her family, what she’s all about, what she stands for. Knowing her heart, she has such a heart for other people, it’s super sad.”Ariel Atkins, who played with Griner in the Tokyo Olympics last summer, said she doesn't understand everything in Griner's case but that she “just wants to do anything that I can to help bring her home. Just a devastating situation. I can't imagine how her family...
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