Kim Mulkey, the former Baylor Bears head coach who coached WNBA star Brittney Griner from 2009 – 2013, admitted she hasn’t spoken to the athlete since she was released from a Russian prison.
In February of last year, Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner was detained at a Moscow airport when traces of marijuana were found in her bag. She went on to spend nearly 300 days detained overseas and even pled guilty to drug smuggling charges in Russia With the help of the Biden administration, the US was able to orchestrate a prison swap, and the basketball star was brought back to the United States just in time for Christmas.
“Moments ago, standing together with her wife, Cherelle, in the Oval Office, I spoke with Brittney Griner. She’s safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way home,” the US President announced in early December 2022. “After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back.”
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Since returning, she has acclimated to every day life and even acquired a deal with the Mercury to keep playing basketball. However, Mulkey revealed she hasn’t spoken to her former player since her well documented return.
“No, I haven’t,” Mulkey said when a reporter asked if she’s been in touch with Griner. “But I’m glad she’s back. I’m glad she’s safe, she’s sound. I think everybody is, but no, I have not.”
Kim Mulkey stays quiet throughout Brittney Griner’s overseas detainment
The basketball coach currently leads the Louisiana State University Tigers and has primarily focused on coaching her team throughout the season. Even when Griner was initially detained in Russia, Mulkey refused to comment on the circumstances her former player was experiencing.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anything from you on that,” Daily Advertiser reporter Cory Diaz told the coach at the time of the WNBA’s arrest. Before having time to open it up for discussion, Mulkey responded “And you won’t.”
When the 60-year-old college basketball coach said this, many openly criticized her. In fact, WNBA player Queen Egbo, a standout rookie for the Indiana Fever who was coached under Mulkey, implied on Twitter that those considering attending schools for basketball should avoid the former Baylor coach.
“A player that built Baylor, 2 [Final Fours], & a 40-0 record. Yet her former coach refuses to say anything or simply just show any kind of support,” Egbo tweeted. “Keep that in mind when you’re choosing schools.”
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