U.S. women skip jersey number 15 at World Cup to honour Griner

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Basketball - Women - Gold medal match - United States v Japan - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - August 8, 2021. Brittney Griner of the United States in action with Maki Takada of Japan REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Sept 21 (Reuters) – USA Basketball said none of its players at the Women’s World Cup would wear the number 15 when the tournament begins on Thursday, in honour of Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia on drug charges last month.

Griner, who wore the number 15 in international competition, helped the United States collect two of their 10 gold medals in the quadrennial tournament, which takes place in Sydney this year.

The tournament runs through Oct. 1.

U.S. President Joe Biden met with the WNBA star’s wife, Cherelle Griner, last week and has called the judgment against Griner “unacceptable”. The United States said in July it put forth a “substantial offer” for the release of Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan.

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