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After the All-Star Game in Chicago in 2022, Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Emma Meesseman, and others made sure to take a picture. Five people were not all on Team Stewart or Team Wilson. He wasn't an All-star. Their experience playing together on a Russian club team inspired them to take a picture.

The five of them and Stewart's baby, Ruby, are in a special place in my heart.

Russian officials said they found cannabis oil in her e-liquid when she entered the country to play for the team. Sources say a verdict and sentence will be given later this week as Secretary of State Antony Blinken continues to urge Russia to accept a deal for the release of two Americans.

For decades, Russian clubs such as Ekaterinburg were the crown jewel of the overseas playing experience for WNBA and other international stars, where super teams were formed, dominated and won titles, and where some players earned seven-figure salaries and received the amenities and resources of the top professional basketball players. Five EuroLeague titles were won by Ekaterinburg over the course of three years.

It won't be the case this time around. Some of the most recognizable faces in the sport were not able to return to play in Russia due to the strained U.S.-Russian relations and the continued imprisonment of Griner. Where are they going, how has the salary structure changed, and what are the challenges for players who want to earn money overseas?

Where will they compete this offseason?

The players said they had a good time in Russia. Before the war started, Vandersloot wanted to finish her overseas career in Russia. Jones had re-signed with the club earlier this year.

Russia is still a Level 4 "do not travel" according to the US travel advisory. The International Basketball Federation allowed Russian teams to participate in international events.

Stewart, Jones, Meesseman, and Vandersloot will all be playing for Turkish clubs in the coming year. Russian teams are currently banned from the EuroLeague due to the fact that they are part of the league.

Hungary is listed as a Level 1 "exercise normal precautions" in the U.S. travel advisory.

"To be honest, my time in Russia has been wonderful, but especially with BG still being wrongly imprisoned there, nobody's going to Russia until she's home," Stewart said. I'm not sure what's happening with basketball.

Meesseman, a native of Belgium, said that he didn't see a lot of people going to Russia.

How much will they make?

WNBA players have long gone overseas to supplement their income. As Jonquel Jones said, "Whatever I make here in a year, I make a month over there." Esra Bilgin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russian teams have not dominated the international basketball landscape in recent years due to the success of the French, Spanish and Turkish leagues. The salaries Stewart, Jones, Meesseman and Vandersloot will make in Turkey and Hungary will be less than what they made in Russia.

Jones said she took a huge pay cut when she joined Mersin but is still making good money.

In Turkey, salaries for top-tier WNBA players are in the $300,000-$400,000 range, which is considered a down market at the moment. Russian teams are able to compete only domestically, and China is still not accepting international women's players despite the COVID-19 epidemic.

Stewart said there are other opportunities for other clubs to step up and be on that level.

It helped me financially because I got four years to play for big money. It set us up nicely for the future. It's a chance to play. I enjoy playing year-round.

Why Turkey and Hungary?

Stewart said signing with "powerhouse" Fenerbahce made sense for her and her family since her wife is from Spain.

The choice of Sopron was a logical one. She and their dog will go to Hungary.

Meesseman hoped that Russia would be accepted again in the future. All those players deserve to showcase their talent because they have some great players.

With Ekat out of the picture, the WNBA stars still wanted to find clubs where they could play against high-level competition and still be treated well.

Jones consulted with his teammates before committing to Mersin. This upcoming season, Jones will play with other players.

"Sopron is one of those clubs that it's a good place to be, because it's powered by a bunch of women's basketball players," said Vandersloot, who played for the club. They do it the right way. It's not possible to say that about every club.

Would they play in Russia again if it's an option?

They are unsure if they have seen their last basketball in Russia.

If I said it was something I would be interested in, I would be lying. It is difficult to say. It's hard to believe that it's safe for anyone to go back there right now.

When asked if she would ever play in Russia again, Stewart said she would take things one season at a time.

Jones said she would consider returning to Russia if the situation improved.

Playing for Ekat was the best part of her career. I would be willing to go back there with the people.

How will prioritization impact future overseas commitments?

It's difficult for players to make decisions over their overseas commitments. The Final Four of the EuroLeague will take place in mid-April, but domestic leagues can last into April when the season begins.

If players don't show up on time for training camp, they will be fined and suspended for the entire season. Stewart signed a one-year deal with the Storm because she wanted to prioritize.

Regardless of what happens with Ekat, the appeal of playing in Turkey or Hungary may still be strong for top WNBA talent.

In February, Stewart said that prioritization was the biggest topic of discussion in the next couple of years. One of my sources of income is being cut off.

Mechelle Voepel was a contributor.