Here’s what happened in the world of women’s basketball this past week:
Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drug charges
On Thursday, detained WNBA star Brittney Griner pled guilty to bringing vape cartridges containing hashish oil into Russia. Griner told the judge, “I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law.”
Griner currently faces up to 10 years in jail for the offense. She will return to the courtroom next Thursday for her next hearing. Her lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, told reporters that the team hopes the judge will go easy on Griner, explaining, “Considering all the circumstances of the case, taking into account the personality of our client, we believe that the admission of guilt should certainly be taken into account.”
NEW: Statement from Brittney Griner’s Russian legal team, saying “she decided to take full responsibility for her actions.”— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 7, 2022
Also notes they expect the trial to conclude in about a month. pic.twitter.com/oaIukUDZCU
WNBA All-Star Game to have 4-point shot
This change, plus a 20-second shot clock and no free throws, except for the final two minutes of the fourth and overtime, were announced Friday. These changes are only for the All-Star Game.
Sabrina Ionescu ties Candace Parker for most career WNBA triple-doubles with three
Sabrina Ionescu breaks record for points in a triple-double with 31
Phoenix Mercury might trade Skylar Diggins-Smith
It looks like Skylar Diggins-Smith might be leaving the Mercury this season. The rumor comes after she and Diana Taurasi were tangled up in an exchange that resulted in their physical separation in May. However, things might not be easy for Diggins-Smith, as Howard Megdal writes that it’s not clear what teams are interested as “many others around the league wary of adding her.”
Diana Taurasi makes it to 3,000 field goals
The first player in #WNBA history to reach 3,000 made field goals!— WNBA (@WNBA) July 8, 2022
Allie Quigley will join the 3-point contest
The Chicago Sky’s Allie Quigley will return to the 3-point contest this year. Quigley previously won the event in 2021, 2018, and 2017 and is a favorite to take the win in 2022. She explained that she’s looking forward to the event, saying, “After winning the event last year I really thought it would be my final time taking part. But the opportunity to compete one more time and to do so in Chicago was too good to pass up. I can’t wait to shoot in front of our home fans; it’s always a great time.”
Maya Moore welcomes her first child with husband Jonathan Irons
Former Minnesota Lynx champion Maya Moore revealed on Tuesday that she and her husband have welcomed their first baby together, a boy named Jonathan Hughston Irons Jr. Moore shared that the baby was born in February 2022. Moore and Irons married in 2020 after she helped Irons overturn a conviction from the year 2000.
Napheesa Collier hopes to rejoin the Lynx this season
Napheesa Collier might have given birth in May, but she still hopes to rejoin her team. Collier told BallySportsNOR that she’s definitely not counting herself out, saying, “I got in yesterday and got my first workout in today (on the bike). ... I’m going to listen to my body. I’d love to play with Syl, that’s my ultimate goal.”
Candice Dupree joins the Spurs as a guest coach
Candice Dupree will be serving as a guest coach for the Spurs during the NBA Summer League this year. Dupree enjoyed a 16-year career in the WNBA before making the transition to coaching in May 2022.
Rising Iowa player Ava Jones seriously injured after being hit by car
Kansas high school senior Ava Jones was walking on a sidewalk with her parents when a driver allegedly under the influence struck them. As of Wednesday, she was in serious condition and her parents were in critical condition. Jones recently gave a verbal agreement to Iowa, and the family was in Kentucky for the Run 4 the Roses girls’ basketball tournament.
Breanna Stewart to wear Puma Stewie at All-Star Game
Breanna Stewart will debut her Puma Stewie signature shoe in the WNBA All-Star Game. The Stewie 1 is the first new signature shoe from a WNBA player in more than a decade. More from @NickDePaula and @andscape:https://t.co/ihGAl5fGtB— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) July 8, 2022
Official! @PUMA unveiled the Stewie 1, the first new women’s signature bball sneaker in over a decade. Multi-zoned monomesh layers, NITRO Foam technology, & a Molded Heel Counter for add’l stability & lockdown marked with scars to represent @breannastewart’s 2 Achilles surgeries. pic.twitter.com/d9UShkURDN— Arielle (Ari) Chambers (@ariivory) July 8, 2022