WNBA coach Becky Hammon calls on Russia to ‘do the right factor’ ahead of Brittney Griner’s sentencing

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Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon, who as soon as received a medal for Russia in the 2008 Summer Olympics, is pleading with the Kremlin to “do the right factor” and launch WNBA star Brittney Griner.

The six-time WNBA All-Star, who spent a lot of her offseason time enjoying for Russian groups, spoke simply days earlier than the closing arguments in Griner’s case.

Becky Hammon of Russia appears on in opposition to Australia throughout the ladies’s basketball bronze medal sport at the Olympic Games on Aug. 11, 2012, in London.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images))

“It’s one thing that clearly hits tremendous shut to dwelling for me and so I simply ask the Russian authorities to do the right factor,” she advised Reuters in an interview Tuesday. “It’s by no means too late to do the right factor. We’re asking for leniency. We’re asking for grace. And we’re asking to carry dwelling BG.”

BRITTNEY GRINER TRIAL: RUSSIAN PROSECUTORS ASK FOR 9 ½-YEAR SENTENCE, WNBA STAR APOLOGIZES

Griner appeared in court docket on Thursday for the closing arguments in a trial the place she pleaded responsible final month to hashish possession after oils derived from hashish had been found in her bag at a Moscow airport in February.

She provided an apology in court docket earlier than sentencing.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner enters a cage in a courtroom prior to a hearing in Khimki, just outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug.  4, 2022.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner enters a cage in a courtroom prior to a listening to in Khimki, simply exterior Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022.
(Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool Photo by way of AP)

“I need to apologize to my teammates, my membership, my followers and the metropolis of (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I introduced on them,” she mentioned. “I need to additionally apologize to my mother and father, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury group again at dwelling, the wonderful ladies of the WNBA, and my wonderful partner again at dwelling.”

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She added: “Hope in your ruling it doesn’t finish my life.”

Hammon received a bronze medal for Russia in the 2008 Beijing Games after changing into a naturalized citizen a 12 months earlier. It was a controversial transfer for the American basketball star, however she defended her choice at the time, saying it was a matter of reaching an expert aim, not one of nation pleasure.

Becky Hammon of Russia stands for the national anthem prior to the game against the US Women's Senior National Team at the Olympic Games on Aug.  21, 2008 in Beijing.

Becky Hammon of Russia stands for the nationwide anthem prior to the sport in opposition to the US Women’s Senior National Team at the Olympic Games on Aug. 21, 2008 in Beijing.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE by way of Getty Images)

“The jersey that I put on has by no means made me who I used to be. It has nothing to do with what’s written on my coronary heart,” she advised ESPN in 2008. “Will I be enjoying for Russia? Yes. But I’m completely 100% nonetheless an American. I really like our nation. I really like what we stand for. This is a chance to fulfill my dream of enjoying in the Olympics.”

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Hammon is aware of all too effectively the dynamics of enjoying in Russia, and warned of the fallout that would comply with as soon as Griner is sentenced.

Head coach Becky Hammon of the Las Vegas Aces looks on during the New York Liberty game at Barclays Center on July 14, 2022, in Brooklyn.

Head coach Becky Hammon of the Las Vegas Aces appears on throughout the New York Liberty sport at Barclays Center on July 14, 2022, in Brooklyn.
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

“If (Griner) had been to have to serve a (jail) sentence, I believe there would have to be dangerous implications internationally on the sports activities world,” she advised Reuters. “There’s sure methods to put strain on Russia. Hopefully it would not come to that.”

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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