Following the nine-year prison sentence for Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, the WNBA stars are not considering to participate in the off-season matchups in Russia after the world cup tournament as they feel 'it's not safe there'.
WNBA star Brittney Griner was arrested and sentenced for drug possession and smuggling charges in Russia earlier this year.
Griner's teammate on Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg, Breanna Stewart has appreciated her time in Russia but opted to play for Fenerbahçe in Turkey in the off-season. She said , "Honestly my time in Russia has been wonderful, but especially with BG still wrongfully detained there, nobody’s going to go there until she’s home."
Similarly, other WNBA stars like Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones and Chicago Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot are looking to compete in other countries. Joining Breanna Stewart in Turkey, Jones will be playing for Mersin while Vandersloot is expected to play for Sopron Basket in Hungary.
Vandersloot said, "I am Hungarian. I thought it would be special since I haven’t played there since I got the citizenship. The whole situation with BG makes it really hard to think that it’s safe for anyone to go back there right now."
These women's basketball stars play in other leagues to earn more money as they get low salaries in WNBA.