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Kim Mulkey’s former Baylor players blast her Brittney Griner response

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 29: Queen Egbo #25 of the Baylor Lady Bears reacts against the UConn Huskies during the third quarter in the Elite Eight round of the 2021 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Alamodome on March 29, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Former Baylor players from Kim Mulkey’s tenure with the program are speaking out on the coach’s continued silence regarding Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia.

Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony for drug charges in August, more than six months after she initially was detained at a Russian airport.

Mulkey coached Griner at Baylor from 2009-13 but has refrained from commenting publicly on her former player’s plight. Now the LSU women’s basketball coach, Mulkey again refused to comment Monday during a preseason press conference. She joined LSU in 2021 after 21 seasons with the Bears.

Queen Egbo, who was a member of Baylor’s 2019 NCAA championship team, advised recruits to remember Mulkey’s silence when selecting a school.

“A player that built Baylor, 2 national titles, & a 40-0 record. Yet her former coach refuses to say anything or simply just show any kind of support,” the Indiana Fever rookie tweeted. “Keep that in mind when you’re choosing schools.”

Chloe Jackson, another member of the 2019 NCAA championship team, also spoke out.

“And I will say it again. SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES, smh,” she tweeted.

Former Baylor standout NaLyssa Smith, who also played for Mulkey’s 2019 title-winning team, chimed in with an Instagram comment. The Indiana Fever rookie called the coach’s refusal to speak about Griner “sad.”

Baylor coach Nicki Collen, who took over for Mulkey in 2021, did not speak directly about Mulkey’s comments but did speak at length about Griner, who she called “Baylor family.”

Aijha Blackwell transferred to Baylor from Missouri in April, and she tweeted Monday, “All I’ll say is I am grateful to be where I’m at with these people… God was looking out for me big time.”

Basketball players outside the circle of Baylor alumni also have made their voices heard.

“Yikes,” former UCLA standout Michaela Onyenwere commented on an Instagram post about Mulkey’s silence.

Duke guard Lexi Gordon also issued a word of warning to recruits.

“No seriously y’all, your coach needs to be someone you could see in your life & supporting you,” she wrote. “Keep it in mind.”

Shakira Austin, who played at Maryland and Ole Miss and now stars for the Washington Mystics, called the sport “all a business.”

“Once you no longer benefit their lives watch how they move after,” she wrote. “Recruits idk what else to suggest besides just go overseas and be selfish.”

Former Duke standout Lexie Brown, who now plays for the Los Angeles Sparks, tweeted, “It wasn’t just what she said. It was how she said it.”

“Please be careful who you’re sending your kids to,” she wrote. “I don’t care how many championships they have.”