If she is convicted of carrying cannabis oil in her luggage, she could face up to 10 years in prison.

I would like to enter a guilty plea. There was no intention. At the second hearing of her trial, she said she didn't want to break the law. I would like to testify later. Time is needed to prepare. According to Russian media reports, she said in court that she accidentally put the e-liquid into her bag while packing.

Since the outbreak of the ground war in Ukraine, one of the best female basketball players alive, has been in Russian custody, and this latest turn of events is shocking. Russia insists that the arrest of a prominent American citizen has nothing to do with the invasion of its neighbor country.

A seven-time All-Star for the Phoenix Mercury, and an NCAA champion at Baylor University, was taken into custody by Russian authorities at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in February after she claimed to have found two e-liquids containing cannabis in her luggage. Concerns that her high-profile status as an American athlete has made her a political pawn have been raised.

The president of the United States was pressured to intervene in a letter sent through her representatives by the woman. The trial is expected to conclude at the beginning of August according to her legal team.

The question is still unanswered, what was one of the top American basketball players doing in Russia?

Recent history shows that prominent female athletes can get paid better in Russia than they can in their home country.

Why was Brittney Griner in Russia? 

According to the Associated Press, top players can make four times their base salary if they play in Russia during the winter. According to an interview with Good Morning America, the head of the WNBA Players Association said that financial incentives compelled Griner to spend the last seven years in Russia for the winter.

The reality is that she is over there because of pay inequity. We go over there to keep our game going.

The basketball star decided to head to Russia in the first place, according to his wife.

Cherelle spoke to ABC News in late May and said thatBG would love to not go overseas. She hasn't had a Thanksgiving in the US since she was a pro. She can't make enough money in the NBA to survive.

Fortune did not get a response from the players association. A person for the NBA was not available for comment.

In the Russian premier league, he makes $1 million a year. She was one of the highest-paid players in the league, with a salary of $221,450 for the Mercury. The NBA has an average salary of $7 million, while the league has an average salary of $120,000.

There is no evidence that the Russian league is as popular as the league in the US.

How much do WNBA players make? 

The season in the NBA is longer and the brands have less earning power than in the WNBA. According to Adam Silver, the NBA is expecting $10 billion in revenue. The league has lost $10 million on average each year it has existed, despite the fact that it makes $60 million a year, according to Silver.

70 women's basketball players went abroad this year. Less than half of the league's total players went overseas during the off-season of the last two years.

Sue Bird is married to a soccer player who led a campaign for pay equity in a historic lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The only reason you go there is for money, according to the author. You leave your country to play basketball in another country.

Bird told 60 Minutes that she was a millionaire because of Kalmanovich.

The idea that playing overseas is a financial decision has been pushed back by the commissioner. The only option for W.N.B.A. players in the off-season is to play overseas, according to the outdated view. It is only one of the choices. They have a lot of options.

Why are salaries so much higher overseas?

The countries that offer the most to America's basketball greats are those with tense relationships with the U.S. The most lucrative overseas market for players is Russia, where teams are usually owned by the country's billionaires. The club where the basketball player competed is funded by a Russian mining corporation and its billionaire owner.

The Russian fortunes being sunk into women's basketball are thought to be part of a money-laundering scheme.

Near-empty arenas, cheap tickets, and a lack of culture around watching women's basketball are signs that suspicious funds are bankrolling Russian teams.

According to the L.A. Times, the late founder of Spartak, Shabtai Kalmanovich, appeared to make little money off the franchise that recruited Americans. Kalmanovich put the players in a gated house, gave them money to eat at the best restaurants, and sent them on vacations, even though no one bothered to sell game tickets.

Henry Abbott ran the money-laundering rumors by a source, who asked if he really didn't know. I wondered if they sold more tickets. She felt bad for me. Abbott said in March that it was money laundered.

Kalmanovich was the man who helped Sue Bird become a millionaire. He was killed in a contract shooting. That's the place where the basketball player was able to make a lot of money until she was sentenced to prison.