Griner is an honorary holder of the WNBA’s ASG

NEW YORK — Brittney Griner will have a berth in the WNBA All-Star Game, being named an honorary starter Wednesday by Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

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.

“During every season of Brittney’s career that there has been an All-Star Game, she has been selected as an All-Star,” Engelbert said. “It is not hard to imagine that if BG were here with us this season, she would be selected once again and would undoubtedly showcase her incredible talents. It is therefore only fitting that she be named an honorary starter today and we continue to work for her safe return to The USA.”

In May, the State Department designated Griner wrongfully detained and placed her case under the supervision of its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, who is effectively the government’s top hostage negotiator.

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

Breanna Stewart Y A’ja Wilson they received the most votes from fans and were selected as co-captains of the event. They will join Sue Bird Y Sylvia Fowles, who have announced that they will retire at the end of the season. Bird will set a record with his 13th All-Star appearance. Fowles, who is injured at the moment, was selected for her eighth game.

Stewart and Fowles will pair up as co-captains, as will Wilson and Bird, and pick their teams.

Joining Wilson, Stewart and Fowles on offense are Jonquel Jones from Connecticut, Nneka Ogwumike of the LA Spaarks and Candace Parker from Chicago. The starting shooting guards, in addition to Bird, are sabrina ionscu from New York and her teammates from Las Vegas, Kelsey Plum Y Jackie Young.

“It’s extraordinary that icons like Sylvia and Sue are selected to the AT&T WNBA All-Star Game as starters in their 15th and 19th seasons, respectively,” said Engelbert. “And when you see the starting lineups peppered with All-Stars for the first time like Sabrina Ionescu, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young, it seems only right that Sylvia and Sue, who have said this will be their last season, join A’ja and Breanna as co-captains of an All-Star event that will go some way to symbolizing the passing of the torch to a new generation of WNBA stars.”

The starters were chosen by a combination of fan, media, and player votes.

The league’s coaches will vote for the 12 reserves and the co-captains will draft their rosters on July 2. The game will take place on July 10 in Chicago with a 3-point shootout and skills challenge the day before.

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Griner is an honorary holder of the WNBA’s ASG