Brittney Griner: Staff USA gamers ‘honor’ teammate at FIBA Ladies’s World Cup

The USA’s gamers honored their good friend and teammate by electing to not put on her No. 15 shirt. Historically, Staff USA wears the numbers 4 to fifteen however as a substitute is remembering a participant who has been such a giant a part of the nationwide facet since her first involvement in 2013.

“She’s on our minds every day, and we’ll honor her,” US head coach Cheryl Reeve informed ESPN. “Nobody will put on 15. So simply discovering methods to proceed to verify she is aware of that she’s being considered and our gamers are considering of her every day.”

Griner has been central to the US group’s dominance within the sport. The 2013 WNBA No. 1 draft decide has helped the US win two Olympic gold medals and two gold medals on the World Cup.

“She’s a giant a part of our sisterhood,” Griner’s Olympic teammate Jewell Lloyd stated. “Attending to know her over the previous couple years has been nice. She has been nothing however superb to me and my household. And it is simply heart-breaking to know that she’s nonetheless over there and she or he’s not right here.”

The event begin comes every week after Griner’s spouse, Cherelle Griner, met with US President Joe Biden to plead her spouse’s case because the US negotiates the discharge of the WNBA star and former US Marine Paul Whelan.

Griner was detained in February for carrying vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her baggage and pleaded responsible to drug costs, saying she by accident packed the medication in a rush. Her authorized group in Russia has appealed the nine-year sentence.

Griner’s teammates and different WNBA gamers have additionally proven solidarity with the eight-time All-Star by boycotting taking part in in Russia throughout the offseason.

Many WNBA gamers complement their salaries within the offseason by signing with European groups, together with Russian groups that reportedly pay upwards of $1 million per season — far more cash than the gamers would make by staying within the US.

WNBA players so far have signed for clubs in Turkey, Italy, Hungary but have avoided Russian teams.

However this winter, gamers are refusing to signal with Russian groups, as a substitute opting to play for different golf equipment throughout Europe.

Breanna Stewart, who has performed with Griner each for the nationwide group and on the identical Russian membership group, Yekaterinburg, admitted that it was not a straightforward choice.

“Actually, my time in Russia has been great, however particularly with BG nonetheless wrongfully detained there, no one’s going to go there till she’s residence,” the Seattle Storm energy ahead stated. “I feel we’ll proceed to talk out, to proceed to amplify her identify, put stress as a lot as we are able to on the White Home.

“It was superb that Cherelle was capable of meet with President Biden, and hopefully, that implies that issues are persevering with to maneuver ahead with getting her residence.

“However I feel the easiest way to symbolize her and honor her goes and successful the gold medal.”

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