HOUSTON — Brittney Griner's stay in a Russian jail has been extended through mid-May, according to state media reports in the country.
She's been held since February after agents claimed they found hash oil in her bag.
The news Thursday left her friends in the United States frustrated and concerned.
"I was really disappointed,” said Debbie Jackson, who coached Griner in basketball for four years at Nimitz High School in Aldine ISD. “I was hoping something could be resolved out of court and she would be able to come back home, or at least not be sitting in a jail cell."
Jackson is skeptical since no one from outside of Russia has verified statements from their government officials about Griner’s situation.
She’s also concerned about the country's record on detaining other non-citizens and LBGT rights.
"(With) Brittney being gay, I'm fearful that that will be used against her,” Jackson said. “The longer it strings out, the more doubtful I am that it's gonna be resolved quickly."
Nancy Lieberman, a former WNBA coach and player, has known Griner since her college days.
"She’s an amazing person ... role model ... champion, and she doesn't deserve what's happening right now,” Lieberman said during an interview Thursday with reporter Kevin Reece at KHOU’s sister station in Dallas, WFAA.
Lieberman said she can’t imagine how Griner feels.
"If it was Lebron James, if it was Steph Curry, if it was Tiger Woods, would we be reading about this every single day?” Lieberman said. “There’d be a movement to get our guys back in America. I don't know. Where's the movement for Brittney?"
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents the area in Houston where Griner grew up, has been active in trying to move Griner’s case along and get her home.
An online petition is calling on government officials to make Griner's return a top priority. It has more than 64,000 signatures.