Basketball Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey, who coached Brittney Griner to an NCAA national championship during a decorated collegiate career at Baylor University, declined to comment on her former player's Russian prison sentence when asked about it on Monday (September 26).
Mulkey, who is in her second season at LSU, was asked by the Daily Advertiser's Cory Diaz to address Griner's nine-year Russian sentence in relation to drug charges while addressing reporters on Monday (September 26), which Diaz acknowledged he hadn't heard her do publicly.
"And you won't," Mulkey responded sharply before answering a separate question.
Griner played for Mulkey at Baylor from 2009-13, which included an undefeated 40-0 national championship season in 2011-12, which saw the Houston native win the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player award.
The two have, however, had an estranged relationship since the end of Griner's collegiate career in 2013.
Griner, who publicly came out as a lesbian in February 2013, said she felt discouraged to disclose her sexual orientation during her time at Baylor, claiming that coaches "thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn't let their kids come play for Baylor" in a May 2013 interview with ESPN.
Mulkey spent 21 seasons at Baylor before taking over as the LSU women's basketball team's head coach in April 2021.
Griner, who was playing overseas for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia during the WNBA offseason, was arrested at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport airport in February after the Russian Federal Customs Service found vape cartridges containing hashish oil inside her luggage, which she reportedly uses for medicinal purposes.
The eight-time All-Star pleaded guilty to the drug charges in July, acknowledging that she'd unintentionally put the hashish oil inside her luggage because she was in a hurry and was sentenced to nine years in prison on August 4, as well as fined $1 million rubles ($16,301 USD) by the Russian court.
Griner was selected by the Mercury at No. 1 overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft and is one of the league's top stars, leading the franchise to a WNBA championship.
The 31-year-old is an eight-time WNBA All-Star, two-time scoring champion, eight-time blocks leader and two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award winner, among numerous other accolades.
News of Griner's arrest was made public in March, just days after Russia launched its ongoing invasion of Ukraine following President Vladimir Putin's announcement that his country planned to conduct military operations in the neighboring country on February 24.