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The Olympic Games-Tokyo 2020

Source: Tim Clayton – Corbis / Getty

The WNBA tip-off is Friday and not a moment too soon, there’s an update in the effort to bring Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner home from Russia. Griner has been detained since February. Arrested for carrying vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage, if convicted, the crime could carry a penalty of up to 10 years of prison.  Given her status as a pro athlete, the US State Department has to date advised limiting discussion about her detention. However yesterday, Griner’s detention was reclassified as “wrongfully detained,” an important update that means the U.S. government no longer has to wait for her case to go through the Russian legal system to begin negotiations for her return to our country.

Friday as the WNBA season begins,  Griner’s jersey number and initials will be displayed on all 12 courts.