Brittney Griner chosen as honorary WNBA All-Star starter

Brittney Griner will have a seat in the WNBA All-Star Game and will be named an honorary starter by Commissioner Cathy Engelbert on Wednesday.

NEW YORK (AP) — Brittney Griner will have a seat in the WNBA All-Star Game and will be named an honorary starter by Commissioner Cathy Engelbert on Wednesday.

Griner has been detained in Russia since February 17 after authorities at an airport outside Moscow said she had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her bag.

“Every season of Brittney’s career that has had an All-Star Game, she has been selected as an All-Star,” Engelbert said. “It’s not hard to imagine that if BG were here with us this season, they would be selected again and undoubtedly show their incredible talents. It is therefore only fitting that she is named an honorary starter today and we continue to work towards her safe return to the United States.”

The State Department in May declared Griner wrongly imprisoned and placed her case under the oversight of the President’s special envoy for hostage affairs, who is effectively the government’s chief hostage negotiator.

Russian state news agency Tass reported last week that Griner’s detention has been extended until at least July 2. Another American, Paul Whelan, has been held in Russia since December 2018 on espionage charges he and the US government believe are false.

Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson received the most votes from fans and were selected as co-captains for the event. They are joined by Sue Bird and Sylvia Fowles, both of whom have announced they will retire at the end of the season. Bird will set a record with her 13th All-Star appearance. Fowles, who is currently injured, has been selected for her eighth game.

Stewart and Fowles will be paired as co-captains, as will Wilson and Bird, and will choose their teams.

Joining Wilson, Stewart and Fowles in the forecourt are Jonquel Jones from Connecticut, Nneka Ogwumike from Los Angeles and Candace Parker from Chicago. In addition to Bird, the starting guard are New Yorker Sabrina Ionescu and Las Vegas teammates Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young.

“For icons like Sylvia and Sue, who are set to be voted as starters in the AT&T WNBA All-Star game in Seasons 15 and 19, is exceptional” All-Stars like Sabrina Ionescu, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young. will in some ways symbolize passing the torch to a new generation of WNBA stars.”

The starters were selected through a combination of fan, media and player voting.

League coaches will vote for the 12 reserves, and assistant captains will draft their rosters on July 2. The game takes place the day before on July 10 in Chicago with a 3-point contest and skill challenge.

https://www.king5.com/article/sports/wnba/storm/brittney-griner-chosen-as-honorary-wnba-all-star-starter/281-b21a1429-4e18-4eda-96a1-39f0bd126408 Brittney Griner chosen as honorary WNBA All-Star starter

Emma Bowman

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