Staff USA gamers ‘honor’ teammate Brittney Griner 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 an alternative 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 each day, and we’ll honor her,” US head coach Cheryl Reeve instructed ESPN. “Nobody will put on 15. So simply discovering methods to proceed to ensure she is aware of that she’s being considered and our gamers are pondering of her each day.”

Griner has been central to the US crew’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 wonderful 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 match 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 chance packed the medication in a rush. Her authorized crew 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.

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

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

“Truthfully, my time in Russia has been great, however particularly with BG nonetheless wrongfully detained there, no person’s going to go there till she’s residence,” the Seattle Storm energy ahead stated. “I believe we will proceed to talk out, to proceed to amplify her title, put strain as a lot as we will on the White Home.

“It was wonderful 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 believe one of the best ways to signify her and honor her goes and successful the gold medal.”

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