US star Brittney Griner not selected for Olympic qualifiers. GETTY IMAGES

American basketball star Brittney Griner, who was imprisoned in Russia for 10 months before being released in a prisoner swap, was not named Sunday among the 12 players who will represent the national team at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Antwerp, Belgium, starting Thursday.

US women's basketball star Brittney Griner was not among the 12 players selected to represent her country in the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The tournament begins on Thursday in Antwerp, Belgium. The 33-year-old centre, who plays for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, was one of the 18 players invited to a three-day training camp in New York that ended last Sunday. 

However, she was not among the 12 players who will represent the United States in the FIBA qualifying tournament in Antwerp, Belgium, which begins on Thursday. As reported and well captured by AFP, Griner was not available to play next week. So the time she spent with her teammates served as training.

The Americans have already qualified for Paris 2024 as defending champions, but are taking part in the quadrennial qualifying tournament as part of their Olympic preparations and to ensure they are in top form ahead of the Games.

Brittney Griner won't play in Belgium's Olympic qualifier. GETTY IMAGES
Brittney Griner won't play in Belgium's Olympic qualifier. GETTY IMAGES

The US women will select their final squad for Paris later this year. They will be looking to add an eighth consecutive Olympic gold medal in France and continue their absolute dominance of the sport in recent decades.

Brittney Griner missed the entire 2022 WNBA season. She was detained in Russia on drug charges. Griner returned in 2023. She averaged 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for Phoenix last season. The US women's squad for the tournament in Belgium includes seven Olympians, including five-time Olympic gold medallist Diana Taurasi at 41 years old (she would have already 42 at Paris 2024).

Griner played college basketball at Baylor University and she is one of the greatest US women's basketball talents of the century. She is the first NCAA player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots and has won major awards. Born in Houston, she has also dunked in official games and would be eligible for the Olympics should her team earn a ticket. And no one doubts that they will do it.