A teenage basketball player is doing what she can to raise awareness of W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner’s Russian imprisonment.
As reported in N.Y. Times, in March, one month after Brittney was detained, her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, wanted to do something special for Brittney. Lindsay reached out to Isabella Escribano, who is a 14-year-old basketball influencer with over nearly 120,000 Instagram followers. In addition, she has her own clothing brand of W.N.B.A. streetwear called Break The Curse, the outlet reports.
Isabella told Lindsay said she wanted to make something “as loud as possible” for Brittney. The eighth grader set up shop in her parent’s garage in Santa Clarita, California. and W.N.B.A. players are wearing a hoodie she designed in honor of Brittney.
The design features “a smiling” Brittney in her Phoenix Mercury jersey with a basketball that reads “W.E.A.R.B.G.” Brittney’s jersey number, 42, is also wrapped around the hoody, and her first and last name are also on it.
Take a look:
Isabella Escribano (@JigglyCaliente4), 14, is popular on Instagram for her basketball skills. She’s using her design skills in the public campaign to free the W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner.
— Kris Rhim (@krisrhim1) August 31, 2022
Isabelle said she wanted to make sure the shirt “had meaning.” She said, “Like, when you see it, it’s something big. It’s basically a statement. What we want to do is start a conversation, like whoever wears it is supporting her, basically saying, ‘Free Brittney Griner.'”
Since February 17, W.N.B.A. star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney has been detained in Russia. Russian authorities claimed they found vape cartridges while searching her luggage at a Moscow airport. Brittney admitted she mistakenly packed the canisters in her luggage. Her defense argued she was prescribed cannabis for pain. On August 4, she was found guilty of drug charges and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison.
On August 15, Brittney’s defense team filed an appeal, arguing that her sentence was excessive. The U.S. government deemed Brittney “wrongfully detained” and offered a prison swap in exchange for her release. NPR reports, “Washington has offered to free Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is serving a 25-year sentence in the U.S. and once earned the nickname the ‘Merchant of Death.'”
Earlier this month, a senior Russian diplomat said exchange talks were in motion. Hopefully, Brittney will return soon! We’ll keep you updated.