For nearly all of her detainment in Russia, Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner has been isolated from the outside world.
One of the few exceptions to that, it turns out, comes in the form of a new private email account set up by her agent.
Griner has received hundreds of emails and letters from WNBA players, and she’s been able to respond to some of them, according to The Associated Press’ Doug Feinberg.
Though the process is complicated — Russian officials have to vet every email before they print them out and deliver them in bunches to Griner, and Griner will have to write a response by hand or dictate it to her lawyers — it’s something.
“When she responded to my second letter it blew me away,” Los Angeles Sparks forward Amanda Zahui B. said, . “I was like, ‘She responded!!’ In my third letter, I was like, ‘Hey best friend, we are officially best friends now.’”
Surprisingly, Zahui B. said, Griner is upbeat.
“She jokes in her letters. I don’t know how she does it with what she’s going through,” Zahui B. said, . “She’s an amazing soul. She brings light in a situation like this. I don’t think a lot of people could manage to do that.”
Griner has been detained in Russia for more than 100 days after officials said they at a Moscow airport earlier this year.
Russia is reportedly open to a deal with the United States that would release Griner in exchange for for nearly 15 years.
What comes next for Griner isn’t known. Her detention has been extended already through the middle of June.
Though her future is uncertain, New York Liberty coach Sandy Brondello is jumping at the chance to at least talk to her former player again.
“I’m going to tell her that I love her and that I’m thinking about her,” Brondello said, . “That’s my girl, it’s terrible. She’s been there too long.”
Incoming Arsenal signing Gabriel Jesus will score more goals than new Tottenham forward Richarlison. Both teams were interested in both players, with Spurs withdrawing their interest in Jesus and Richarlison reportedly opting against joining Arsenal. Richarlison has joined Spurs in a deal worth up to £60million, while Jesus is set to be announced as a £45m Gunners signing.
Joe Joyce is convinced he is ready to challenge for world titles after his fourth-round knockout win over Christian Hammer on Saturday night. The 36-year-old heavyweight overcame Germany's Hammer at Wembley Arena on Saturday night to remain the No.1 WBO contender, putting him in contention to face the winner of Anthony Johsua vs Oleksandr Usyk. Joyce had been out of the ring for a year after suffering a broken wrist, but the 'Juggernaut' was back to his best against Hammer, relentlessly pressing his opposition before stopping him inside four rounds. Not afraid to trade blows, Joyce advanced and struck Hammer with multiple combinations, including a number of hooks and uppercuts.
Iga Swiatek tasted defeat for the first time since February 16 as both her extraordinary winning streak and Wimbledon campaign came to an end. The world number one arrived on Court 1 to face Alize Cornet on a run of 37 straight victories, reeling off six tournaments including the French Open in the process to establish herself as the dominant force in the women’s game. While Swiatek has swatted aside all before her in recent months, there have been signs of vulnerability this week.