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the incarceration of Griner in all the heads of the American selection (coach)

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Sydney (AFP) – The fate of the American player Brittney Griner, convicted and imprisoned in Russia for cannabis trafficking, weighs heavily on the morale of the national basketball team which is about to start the world championships in Sydney, acknowledged Wednesday the coach of the USA Cheryl Reeve.

Considered one of the best basketball players in the world, the double Olympic gold medalist would normally be with her teammates preparing for Thursday’s match against Belgium, the first meeting of a competition in which they won all three previous editions (11 times in total).

But the 31-year-old is behind bars in Russia, serving a nine-year prison sentence after she was arrested in February in Moscow in possession of a vape containing cannabis liquid.

Reeve said the player, who appealed her sentencing in early August, would be “the number one concern” during the tournament: “the mindset is just trying to stay strong for her and to do what we can,” Reeve continued, calling Brittney Riner a “sweet soul, just full of love.”

“It’s in their heads every day. It’s heavy. It’s really, really heavy,” added the coach, who however specified that the players of the team had been able to communicate with Griner by e-mail and send him “messages of love, support and encouragement”.

“To keep Brittney in mind, no one will wear (her) number 15. This will be a first way to honor her and keep her in our thoughts,” Reeve explained.

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