September 30, 2022

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

3 min read




CNN

Team USA An 87-72 victory over Belgium in the opening game of the Women’s Basketball World Cup was marred by the forward’s absence. Brittany GrinerWho has been sentenced to nine years. Russian prison To keep hemp oil.

USA players honored their friend and teammate by choosing not to wear his No. 15 shirt. Traditionally, Team USA wears numbers four through 15 but is instead recalling a player who has been such a big part of the national team since his first induction in 2013.

“She’s in our thoughts every day, and we’re going to respect that,” U.S. head coach Cheryl Reeve told ESPN. “Nobody’s going to wear 15. So just finding ways to make sure she knows she’s being thought of and our players are thinking about her every day.”

Gurner has been central to the US team’s dominance in the sport. The 2013 WNBA No. 1 draft pick has helped the U.S. win two Olympic gold medals and two gold medals at the World Cup.

Gurner has been in a Russian prison since being detained in February.

“She’s a big part of our sisterhood,” Griner’s Olympic teammate Jewell Lloyd said. “It’s been great getting to know her over the last couple of years. She has been nothing but amazing to me and my family. And it’s heartbreaking to know that he’s still there and he’s not here.

The tournament began a week after Greiner’s wife, Cheryl Greiner. Met US President Joe Biden. to plead his wife’s case as the United States negotiates the release of WNBA star and former U.S. Marine Paul Whalen.

Griner was arrested in February for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in his luggage and pleaded guilty to drug charges, saying he accidentally packed the drugs in a hurry. His legal team in Russia has appealed the nine-year sentence.

Gerner’s teammates and other WNBA players have also shown solidarity with the eight-time All-Star by boycotting playing in Russia during the offseason.

Many WNBA players supplement their salaries in the offseason by signing with European teams, including Russian teams that reportedly pay more than $1 million per season — much more than players earn while living in the United States. Much more money than that.

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

But this winter, players are refusing to sign with teams in Russia, opting instead to play for other clubs across Europe.

Brenna Stewart, who has played alongside Greiner for the national team and the same Russian club team Yekaterinburg, admitted it was not an easy decision.

“Honestly, I had a great time in Russia, but especially with BG still wrongfully detained there, nobody’s going there until she goes home,” the Seattle Storm power forward said. . “I think we’re going to continue to talk about raising his name, putting as much pressure on the White House as we can.

“It was wonderful that Cheryl was able to meet with President Biden, and hopefully, that means things are moving forward with her arrival home.

“But I think the best way to represent him and honor him is to go and win a gold medal.”



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