Brittney Griner offered a glimpse of her individual tale although testifying in a Russian courtroom on Thursday in a scenario in which she faces a doable sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Her authorized team has appealed for leniency in the scenario, arguing that she has contributed to Russian culture and that she did not intend to split the regulation.
“I grew up in a usual home, a ordinary family in Houston, Texas, with my siblings and my mom and my dad,” Ms. Griner, 31, informed the court docket. “My mother and father taught me two crucial points: Just one, just take possession for your responsibilities and two, work really hard for almost everything that you get. Which is why I pleaded responsible to my prices.”
“I fully grasp anything that has been mentioned towards me in the expenses versus me, but I had no intent to crack Russian legislation,” added Ms. Griner, who was detained in mid-February in a Moscow airport when on her way to Yekaterinburg, a Russian metropolis in close proximity to the Ural Mountains in which she experienced been playing for a regional workforce through the W.N.B.A. off season.
Customs officials observed two vape cartridges made up of a lot less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her baggage.
“I want the court to have an understanding of that it was an genuine error that I manufactured while dashing and in anxiety hoping to get well publish-Covid and just trying to get back again to my team,” she told the court on Thursday.
Ms. Griner also spoke of her time playing for UMMC Yekaterinburg.
“That difficult function that my mothers and fathers instilled in me is what experienced introduced me to perform for the very best Russian workforce,” she explained. “I had no idea that the workforce, the town, the admirers and my teammates would make this sort of a terrific perception on me around the six and a 50 percent years that I put in in Yekaterinburg. It turned my 2nd home with my close friends, my teammates and my supporters that I would always interact with.”
The basketball star apologized to her teammates on the Russian squad and the town of Yekaterinburg, her family and her fellow W.N.B.A. gamers, like her Arizona group, the Phoenix Mercury.
Addressing the choose in the case, Anna S. Sotnikova, Ms. Griner explained, “I designed an genuine blunder, and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t close my daily life here.”
She also alluded to the possibility of a prisoner swap that would enable her to return to the United States, an concern that has been the issue of talks involving Moscow and Washington, with tension on President Biden to support secure her launch.
“I know that all people keeps chatting about political pawn and politics, but I hope that that is much from that courtroom,” Ms. Griner said.