With the news that Brittney Griner has been sent to a Russian prison camp where she’ll have little-to-no contact with the outside, the basketball world wanted to show their love and support for the former Baylor star.

When No. 1 South Carolina and No. 2  Stanford faced each other Sunday, both of their head coaches, Dawn Staley and Tara VanDerveer, wore sweatshirts with Griner’s face on it.

“I went up and wrote a letter,” said Staley, who wore a “Free BG” cap after her Gamecocks win 76-71 in overtime. “Tara is leading this campaign on this particular campus, and we both know Brittney. She’s been part of our basketball family, and she’s in a fight for her life. I know there are other Americans that are wrongly detained, and obviously, we want them all to come home, but when you have a relationship and a friendship with someone, it’s personal.”

“It’s a personal fight for us to bring her home, and every little bit counts. Every little bit, every letter. … If it was anyone’s loved one, loved ones, you would fight for them. I do think there’s a waymaker out there that’s going to make the way for her to get home a lot sooner hopefully than a lot of people expect. I’m one that’s going to think optimistically and prayerfully that she gets home soon,” Staley concluded.

VanDenVeer also took time out of her press conference to talk about Griner.

“It’s been 276 days since Brittney Griner has been incarcerated in Russia,” VanDerveer said. “Hopefully, we brought some good attention to that. We’ve been saying something every game and having a moment of silence for her. We need to bring her home.”

The clothing choice was reminiscent of when members of the Memphis Grizzles wore sweatshirts with Griner’s face on them last month.


About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.