Brittney Griner’s Absence Felt As US Basketball Preps for World Cup

SYDNEY (AP) — Brittney Griner’s absence is weighing on the minds of her USA Basketball teammates, who are trying to fill the void created by her absence as they prepare for the FIBA ​​World Cup.

The Americans are expected to win without the 6-foot-8 Griner, but replacing her spirit and impact on and off the court is a challenging task.

Griner starred for the US in the past two Olympics, but she is not with the team in Australia. The 31-year-old center is 9,000 miles away in a Russian jail after being sentenced last month to nine years in prison for drug possession.

“I think we’re missing the fun-loving person that she was,” US star Breanna Stewart said. “Someone who could bring a group together and was able to hold a conversation with anybody and that shows how grounded she is. The way she cared about people is something you don’t see all the time, especially in superstars. We miss her and we hope she’ll be home soon.”

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