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Aldine watches, worries for Griner

Brittney Griner, all-star WNBA basketball center, continues to be held in a Russian jail, after her arrest on Feb. 17 at Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow. Russian authorities charged her with possessing vape cartridges with hashish oil, an illegal drug. Reports say that her trial has been set for May 19.

Griner is well known in the Aldine area, having played during her school years for Nimitz High, and later for Baylor University. She is considered by many as the best basketball player in the WNBA, where she currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury. Griner is a 7 time WNBA All-Star center, and a 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist. During the offseason, she has been playing in Russia for the UMMC Ekaterinburg team, since 2014.

Friends and former teammates in the Aldine area have expressed concern about her well-being while held in a Russian jail. Reportedly she has not had contact with American officials, except through her attorney team. Observers feel that the current situation in Ukraine may make her arrest and incarceration more difficult, and have pressed the U.S. government to take a more active role in her case.

The arrest of this high profile professional athlete has attracted national attention from media and officials. Recently her high school coach, Nimitz girls basketball coach Debbie Jackson, was interviewed on ABC network for her recollections and career information about Griner. Others, such as Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, have spoken out for our government to more strongly intervene on Griner’s behalf.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you would like to share your recollections or stories or well-wishes about Griner, you can send them to this newspaper at nenewsroom@aol.com and we will publish a select few for our readers and Griner’s friends.