Brittney Griner named honorary WNBA All-Star while detained in Russia
“It is not difficult to imagine that if BG were here with us this season, she would once again be selected,” the WNBA’s commissioner said.
The 2022 WNBA All-Star Game is July 10, but Brittney Griner will most likely not participate. As previously reported by REVOLT, the Phoenix Mercury center is detained in Russia until at least July 2. Even if the athlete is released on or before that date, it’s hard to imagine she will be able to practice with her team and be ready for the annual event.
Because the two-time Olympian won’t be able to join her team on the court, she has been named an honorary starter. “It is not difficult to imagine that if BG were here with us this season, she would once again be selected,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said yesterday (June 22). “During each season of Brittney’s career in which there has been an All-Star Game, she has been selected as an All-Star … So it is only fitting that she be named as an honorary starter today and we continue to work on her safe return to the U.S.,” the commissioner added.
Griner has remained in the custody of Russian officials since February after she was accused of traveling with a vape cartridge containing hashish oil. The substance is derived from cannabis and is illegal in the country. Her detainment has been extended several times and calls for her release continue to make headlines. If convicted, the athlete will face 10 years in Russian prison.
According to the official WNBA website, this year’s All-Star Game will take place in Chicago at the Wintrust Arena. A’ja Wilson, Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart have been selected as co-captains. Last week, Griner’s Mercury teammates and head coach Vanessa Nygaard hoped for the best in the ongoing situation.
“We’re here to do whatever we can to amplify and keep BG at the forefront, which is more important than any basketball game and anything else that’s going on in our lives. We want BG to come home as soon as possible. It’s number one on our list,” guard Diana Taurasi said.
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