Sacramento Monarch legend Ruthie Bolton talks Griner news

SACRAMENTO — After WNBA All-Star Brittany Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison for being caught with vape cartridges containing hashish oil, a Sacramento Monarch legend is now calling for her release.

The 6′ 9″ center has played overseas during the offseason since 2014, a common practice for WNBA players.

“My heart just dropped. I said no, it can’t be,” said Former WNBA All-Star, Sacramento Monarch, and US Olympian Ruthie Bolton.

“They go overseas because countries like Russia pay really big money,” said Bolton, who explained that overseas basketball helps supplement the WNBA salary because Russia pays top dollar for the best players.

“If you get to Russia, you’ve made it. These teams are loaded with superstars. Loaded with three or four Olympians, and so it’s very competitive, very intense. It’s hardcore basketball,” Bolton continued.

When asked if the salary WNBA players get paid is the reason players go overseas, she said, “I wouldn’t blame the WNBA. If we can get the salary Russia gives…that would be great, but at the end of the day, it’s her decision. It breaks my heart, but the only one to blame is Russia.”

Bolton says she won’t stop cheering for her friend – in what will be the toughest comeback of her life.

“I want to believe she’s still got hope. When you’re in a game you’re down by 10 in the fourth quarter, but we’re going to win this game.”

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