Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested in February at a Moscow airport and charged by Russian authorities with smuggling large quantities of a narcotic, an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
On Sunday, Nygaard said: “It’s been 115 days now, 115 days since she was wrongfully imprisoned in another country, and we just want her to come home.”
Nygaard expressed skepticism about Monday’s scheduled meeting with the State Department.
“I hope it’s not just a show, to say that they informed us, which I’m afraid,” she said. “Hopefully it’s something that shows positive progress and we learn something new that helps us learn more about how we’re going to bring our team-mate home.”
She also invited President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to watch the team’s game when the Mercurys take on the Washington Mystics on Tuesday.
“You are welcome to come into our locker room and talk to us. You are also welcome to just enjoy the game, you can see what our team is like without Brittney Griner, but we would also like to see you as a supporter of our team.
“And uh, yeah, we’ve got snacks in our locker room, we’ve got all kinds of things that we’d like – honestly, you can sit on the bench, you can sit on the bench right next to me.”
Mercury representatives are expected to speak with reporters again after Monday’s meeting.
Meanwhile, Penny Taylor, a former Griner teammate at Mercury and a three-time WNBA All-Star, used her Hall of Fame induction speech on Saturday to call for Griner’s release.
Taylor played four times for the Mercury throughout his 19-year career, winning three WNBA championships with the franchise before retiring in 2016.
“BG is our family,” Taylor said at the ceremony, while asking for Biden’s help in freeing Griner.
“She’s yours too,” she added. “The entire global sporting community must come together to insist that it is a priority.”
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