United States government says that WNBA star Brittney Griner has been wrongfully detained in Russia.

Brittney Griner, the All-Star center of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, was arrested and detained in February by the Russian Federal Customs.

A state department spokesman confirmed Griner's reclassification, adding that "the safety of U.S. citizens abroad is highest priority.

U.S. Government" and said it will "continue to undertake efforts to prove appropriate support to Ms. Griner."

The spokesman declined to give details on how the State Department reached the conclusion that Griner was wrongfully detained.

The new designation by the government could mean a shift in strategy to get Griner home. She is set to have a hearing May 19.

Also, former Gov. Bill Richardson is working on behalf of Griner's family, at their request, to secure Griner's safe return.

Bergman saying, "due to ongoing efforts and sensitivities, we are focused on working rather than talking at this time."

Nneka, the WNBPA president, said, "It has been 75 days that our friend, teammate, sister, Brittney Griner, has been wrongfully detained in Russia.

We are hopeful that their efforts will be significant, swift and successful." the WNBPA president added.

Griner's agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, said "our expectation is that the White House do whatever is necessary to bring her home."

Meanwhile, the league continues to monitor the situation in Russia and support Griner as they will continue to pay her full salary.

Starting with the season opener, Griner’s initials and jersey number will be featured on the side-line of every WNBA court.

We are keeping Brittney at the forefront of what we do through the game of basketball and in the community,” said WNBA Commissioner.

Brittney Griner plays basketball for Russian powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason.