UNCASVILLE, Conn – After Brittney Griner was sentenced in Russia to nine years in prison on Thursday, WNBA players, coaches and fans locked arms and tried to send strength to the American basketball star during a moment of silence.
Before the Connecticut Sun beat the Phoenix Mercury 77-64, players from both teams faced off at midcourt and they silently bowed their heads for 42 seconds – a nod to Griner’s jersey number with the Mercury.
Sun coach Curt Miller wore a “WE ARE BG” T-shirt.
Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and eight-time WNBA All-Star, was convicted of drug possession and smuggling by Judge Anna Sotnikova.
She was convicted for nearly a decade in a politically charged case that could lead to a high-risk prisoner swap between Washington and Moscow.
Griner showed little emotion at the sentencing, but her lawyers later said she was “very upset, very stressed.”
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, denounced as “unacceptable” the verdict and the sentence, which occurred in the middle of the growing tensions between the US. USA and Russia for Ukraine. Griner told the court that she had no intention of breaking the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil when she flew to Moscow to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason.
While her depleted WNBA team played without her on the road, Jonquel Jones had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Brionna Jones added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Sun.
Phoenix was also without Diana Taurasi, who missed the game with a leg injury, for the first time this season.
Courtney Williams scored 11 points and Alyssa Thomas had nine points, 13 rebounds and six assists for Connecticut (22-10). The Sun also beat Phoenix 87-63 on Tuesday.
Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 16 points for Phoenix (13-19).
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Brittney Griner acknowledged with a WNBA moment of silence
Source link Brittney Griner acknowledged with a WNBA moment of silence