Brittney Griner: Team USA gamers ‘honor’ teammate at FIBA Women’s World Cup

The USA’s gamers honored their buddy and teammate by electing to not put on her No. 15 shirt. Historically, Team 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 aspect since her first involvement in 2013.

“She’s on our minds daily, and we’ll honor her,” US head coach Cheryl Reeve informed ESPN. “No one will wear 15. So just finding ways to continue to make sure she knows that she’s being thought of and our players are thinking of her daily.”

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

“She’s a big part of our sisterhood,” Griner’s Olympic teammate Jewell Lloyd mentioned. “Getting to know her over the past couple years has been great. She has been nothing but amazing to me and my family. And it’s just heart-breaking to know that she’s still over there and she’s not here.”

The match begin comes per 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 expenses, saying she by chance packed the medication in a rush. Her authorized workforce 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 — way 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 workforce and on the identical Russian membership workforce, Yekaterinburg, admitted that it was not a straightforward determination.

“Honestly, my time in Russia has been wonderful, but especially with BG still wrongfully detained there, nobody’s going to go there until she’s home,” the Seattle Storm energy ahead mentioned. “I think we’re going to continue to speak out, to continue to amplify her name, put pressure as much as we can on the White House.

“It was wonderful that Cherelle was in a position to meet with President Biden, and hopefully, that implies that issues are persevering with to maneuver ahead with getting her residence.

“But I think the best way to represent her and honor her is going and winning the gold medal.”