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This Week in Women’s Basketball: Griner’s conviction being appealed

Brittney Griner hopes to avoid being transferred to a penal colony. Efforts to bring her home in an agreement between the United States and Russia also continue.

Chicago Sky v Phoenix Mercury Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Here’s what happened in the world of women’s basketball this past week:

Brittney Griner’s conviction in Russia being appealed

As ESPN’s T.J. Quinn mentions in the tweet below, there is little hope of getting the nine-year sentence reduced, but Griner’s lawyers could prevent her from getting sent to a penal colony. Efforts to bring her home in an agreement between the United States and Russia also continue.

ACC fixture Charlene Curtis passes away at 67

Curtis was the first Black head coach of an ACC women’s basketball team, coaching the Wake Forest Demon Deacons from 1997 to 2004. She passed away from cancer on Thursday.

In addition to coaching, Curtis was the ACC supervisor of officials for 11 years. As a player, she reached 1,000 points before any other Radford player, man or woman. She is in the Radford sports Hall of Fame and coached there and at Temple.

Kia Vaughn retires

Vaughn played six seasons with the New York Liberty, four seasons with the Washington Mystics, two seasons with the Phoenix Mercury and the 2022 season with the Atlanta Dream. In her Most Improved Player season of 2011 she started all 34 games for the Liberty and registered career bests with 28.1 minutes, 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

Vaughn played in the NCAA national championship game as a sophomore at Rutgers.

Liz Cambage taking indefinite amount of time off from WNBA

Cambage left the Sparks in a contract divorce, which was announced on July 26. According to a Yahoo! article by Chris Haynes, she left the visiting locker room at Michelob ULTRA Arena after a Sparks loss on July 23 saying, “I can’t do this anymore. Best of luck to you guys.” Haynes’ article goes on say that Cambage taking the jersey No. 1 away from Amanda Zahui B. “ruffled feathers within the locker room.” He also describes film session arguments that went “unresolved.”

ESPN’s Alexa Philippou reports that this is the first time that Cambage has publicly commented on the contract divorce.

Fred Williams sticks with Auburn path, LA Sparks looking for new head coach

On May 4, it was announced that Williams was set to work at Auburn as the associate head coach of women’s basketball starting in the fall of 2022. Now it has been confirmed that he has not changed course. He will not be remaining with the Los Angeles Sparks, the WNBA team he became the interim head coach of when Derek Fisher was fired.

Invitees to USA Basketball training camp announced

The following players have been invited to a USA Basketball training camp set for Sept. 6-12.

  • Ariel Atkins
  • Shakira Austin
  • Aliyah Boston
  • Kahleah Copper
  • Elena Delle Donne
  • Diamond DeShields
  • Stefanie Dolson
  • Allisha Gray
  • Chelsea Gray
  • Dearica Hamby
  • Myisha Hines-Allen
  • Natasha Howard
  • Rhyne Howard
  • Sabrina Ionescu
  • Brionna Jones
  • Betnijah Laney
  • Jewell Loyd
  • Kayla McBride
  • Angel McCoughtry
  • Arike Ogunbowale
  • Kelsey Plum
  • Aerial Powers
  • NaLyssa Smith
  • Breanna Stewart
  • Alyssa Thomas
  • Courtney Williams
  • A’ja Wilson
  • Jackie Young

The FIBA World Cup is Sept. 22-Oct. 1.

Sylvia Fowles the first WNBA player to be atop two teams’ rebound list and first to 4,000 boards

Chicago Sky register biggest blowout in WNBA playoff history

Aces’ historic Saturday night (8/20)

A’Ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum the first pair of teammates to both eclipse 700 points in the same season

Sue Bird achieves 1,000 career treys

Veronica Burton perfect from the free throw line over whole regular season

A’ja Wilson already holds two key Aces franchise records at age 26

Mercury make playoffs for active-best 10th straight season

Jewell Loyd reaches most threes in a single Seattle Storm season

AP awards

Player of the Year — Breanna Stewart

Coach of the Year — Tanisha Wright

Comeback Player of the Year — Alyssa Thomas

Most Improved Player — Jackie Young

Defensive Player of the Year — A’ja Wilson

Rookie of the Year — Rhyne Howard

Sixth Woman of the Year — Brionna Jones

All-WNBA First Team — Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, Candace Parker, Kelsey Plum, Sabrina Ionescu

All-WNBA Second Team — Jonquel Jones, Nneka Ogwumike, Alyssa Thomas, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Courtney Vandersloot

All-Rookie Team — Rhyne Howard, Shakira Austin, Rebekah Gardner, NaLyssa Smith, Sam Thomas