Here’s what happened in the world of women’s basketball this past week:
Brittney Griner taken to penal colony
The situation involving Brittney Griner in Russia keeps getting more unjust. We knew Griner never had a shot at winning her appeal of a nine-year prison sentence, but it was hoped that she could avoid getting sent to a penal colony, which in Russia “are known for their lack of hygiene and access to medical care,” according to CNN. On Wednesday, her lawyers announced that she began transfer to a penal colony last Friday. To make matters worse, her lawyers didn’t know her exact location as of Wednesday.
Griner could have better shot at coming home now that midterm elections are over
U.S. President Joe Biden said the following when answering questions after his speech on the midterm election results:
Biden on Brittney Griner’s wrongful detainment in Russia: “We’ve been engaging [with Russia] on a regular basis… My hope is that now that the election is over, Putin will talk with us about prisoner exchange… I am determined to get her home and get her home safely.” #FreeBG
— Myles (@MylesEhrlich) November 9, 2022
Ava Jones officially signs at Iowa
Jones, a high school basketball player from Kansas, had been planning to play for Iowa before being struck by a car about four months ago and sustaining “a traumatic brain injury, torn ligaments in both knees and a shoulder injury.” She officially singed her national letter of intent to join Iowa women’s basketball on Wednesday. Though it was reported in October that her basketball career is likely over, she is quoted by ESPN as saying:
I could give up, but I’m really just not that type of person. … And my dad was not that way, either. I don’t know any other way but to keep going. So maybe it’s just in my DNA.
Whether or not Jones plays for Iowa, she is going to be welcomed into the program with open arms. Hawkeyes head coach Lisa Bluder has said the following:
She’s still somebody that we are going to have as a part of our program because we believe in her. … She committed to us, and just because she had something bad happen to her doesn’t mean that we turn our back on her. We’ll be there for her and her family as much as we can.
Jones’ family was with her during the accident and the car struck all of them. Her father, Trey, was killed, and her mother, Amy, sustained “a brain injury and 21 broken bones.”
Jones said the following on Wednesday:
The support I’ve gotten from everyone has given me even more momentum to get better. I feel like my dad was with me today, because this was his dream, too. This was our goal together.
Rebecca Allen undergoes surgery on collapsed lung
This morning her overseas team Valencia Basket provided a bit more information on Bec Allen’s reason for surgery. The collapsed lung (pneumothorax) wasn’t recovering on its own, making flying on a plane very dangerous for Allen. As to when she’ll fly to Spain, TBD. @TheNextHoops pic.twitter.com/b6H7cNoVQX
— Jackie Powell (she/her) (@ClassicJpow) November 10, 2022
Diana Taurasi to play in WNBA next season
To no one’s surprise, Diana Taurasi, age 40, has decided to return to the WNBA for her 19th season. She has made it clear in recent years that she is not ready to retire and even joked at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics that she may not be done playing in the Olympics. Taurasi is the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer with 9,693 career points.
Stephanie White to coach Sun
Sources tell ESPN that Stephanie White will be next coach of @ConnecticutSun. She and team finalizing contract details. White, NCAA champion at @PurdueWBB and former @WNBA player, was previously head coach of @IndianaFever before returning to college game at Vandy from 2016-21.
— M.A. Voepel (@MAVoepel) November 7, 2022
Former Harvard player Maura Healy to be first lesbian governor in United States
Challenging is coming to the WNBA, as well as free throw for take fouls
Coaches will be allowed to challenge a foul called on their team, out-of-bounds and goaltending. They will only get one challenge per game. In addition, a take foul will now give the fouled team a free throw and possession.
Miami head coach Katie Meier self-suspended three games while NCAA investigates ‘enforcement matter’
The details of the investigation have not been revealed.
Meier said the following:
For over 30 years I have led my programs with integrity, excellence, equity and grit. … I have, and will continue to, collaborate transparently with the NCAA as they review an enforcement matter with the Hurricanes’ women’s basketball program. I look forward to returning to competition on November 16th with the most talented student-athletes and coaches in the country.
Caroline Ducharme to sit out UConn’s opener (neck stiffness)
Ducharme averaged 9.8 points per game last year.