Although hundreds of emails have been sent, Griner only receives the letters sporadically — each email has to be printed out by Griner's lawyer and run by Russian officials before it makes it to the hands of the WNBA player.
Griner doesn't have direct access to the email account either — her lawyers have to take a photo of Griner's written reply or she'll dictate what she wants to respond back if paper isn't available.
Los Angeles Sparks forward Amanda Zahui B. told ABC News that she didn't think she would hear back from the Russian detainee after months went by with no response.
“When she responded to my second letter it blew me away,” Zahui B. said. “I was like she responded!! In my third letter, I was like ‘hey best friend, we are officially best friends now.’”
Zahui B and many other WNBA players want Griner to know that they are thinking about her.
“We just don’t want her to think she’s forgotten,” Liberty center Stefanie Dolson said.
105 days ago, Griner was detained after vape cartridges with cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage at a Russian airport. Though deemed "wrongfully detained" by the U.S. government, Griner could face up to 10 years in Russian prison on drug smuggling charges.
Zahui B. said, “She jokes in her letters. I don’t know how she does it with what she’s going through. She’s an amazing soul." The Los Angeles Sparks star added, “She brings light in a situation like this. I don’t think a lot of people could manage to do that.”
Mystics forward Elizabeth Williams said the union sends out reminders to WNBA players about reaching out to Griner through the email account. The account is currently closed to the public so the number of emails can remain manageable for Griner's teams to handle.
Sandy Brondello, Griner's former Phoenix coach of nine seasons, said she just found out about the opportunity to get in contact with Griner via email.
“I’m going to tell her that I love her and that I’m thinking about her,” Brondello said. “That’s my girl, it’s terrible. She’s been there too long.”