Skip to main content

Report: Several WNBA Players in Russia Planning to Leave Country Amid Conflict

Several WNBA players who are competing in Russia are planning to leave the country after its recent invasion of Ukraine, according to ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel

WNBA players often play overseas during the offseason, and the WNBA regular season doesn't start until May 6.

Longtime agent Mike Cound told ESPN that his clients are past the point of just considering leaving the country. Players were not named in the report at the request of their agents due to safety reasons. 

“For me, it's way past ‘considering’ leaving,’ Cound told ESPN on Sunday. “I've been on the phone with two players in the past few minutes working out flights. It's really urgent now in terms of there being a dwindling number of flights leaving Russia, and they are going to be hard to get real soon. They are probably fine if they stay put, but if things get worse, that may not be the case. My idea is, ‘Get them out now if we can.’ And if we can't, we get them to hunker down and stay safe.”

Scroll to Continue

SI Recommends

The conflict has also forced WNBA players out of Ukraine as well. Earlier this week, a WNBA spokesperson told Sports Illustrated via a statement that the few players who were competing in Ukraine this offseason were also no longer in the country. 

“The league has also been in contact with WNBA players who are in Russia, either directly or through their agents,” the statement read. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Several other agents told ESPN that their clients were considering were leaving the country. Sunday marked the fourth day since Russia invaded Ukraine. 

More WNBA Coverage: