Kim Mulkey, Brittney Griner’s former Baylor coach, declines to comment on her detention in Russia.

Britney Griner Instagram

In the 221 days after Brittney Griner was first imprisoned in Russia, Kim Mulkey, the coach for whom she won a national championship at Baylor, has remained silent. This continued on Monday when, while speaking to reporters at her first preseason workout of the year, she formally rejected any comment and dismissed a query regarding Griner.

Cory Diaz of The Daily Advertiser posed a two-part inquiry to Mulkey, who accepted the position of head women’s basketball coach at LSU last year. The second query concerned Griner.

Mulkey and Griner fell out over ten years ago, and the star’s connection to Baylor has since suffered. Griner expressed her desire for a better relationship with her alma university and the possibility of having her jersey retired there to ESPN months before she was arrested.

From 2009 until 2013, Griner, who will turn 32 in a month, played for Mulkey at Baylor. The Bears went 40-0 to win the national championship during Griner’s junior season. Griner won the Wade Trophy and the AP Player of the Year awards in addition to being voted the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. Prior to the Phoenix Mercury selecting her first overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft, she also won the Wade Award. She has played her whole WNBA career with the Mercury.

Since the 31-year-entry old’s into the WNBA as the first overall pick nine years ago, Griner’s relationship with her former coach has been in the public eye. After coming out as gay in February 2013, Griner told ESPN Mulkey discouraged Baylor players from being open about their sexuality for recruiting reasons.

Following the press conference, the Tigers coach came under criticism on social media, sparking a flurry of responses to her denial of the query. Among others who commented on the matter on Twitter were free-agent guard and former WNBA second-round pick Chloe Jackson, as well as Queen Egbo, a 2022 first-round pick by the WNBA’s Fever. Both athletes competed for Baylor during the 2018–19 campaign, which saw the Lady Bears capture Mulkey’s third championship.

Griner was detained by Russian authorities in February after being discovered to be carrying of hashish oil in her luggage at an airport in the Moscow airport going through security. On August 4, she was found guilty of transporting drugs with criminal intent and given a nine-year term in a Russian correctional camp. There has been no update on the status of the negotiations between the US administration and Russia regarding a prisoner exchange that would send Griner home.

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