WNBA star Brittney Griner shares most heart-wrenching fear involving wife Cherelle during Russian detention

WNBA star Brittney Griner shares most heart-wrenching fear involving wife Cherelle during Russian detention

Festus Chuma 20:00 - 10.05.2024

American basketball star Brittney Griner feared her wife Cherelle would leave during her Russian incarceration but credits unwavering support for saving her.

When American basketball icon  Brittney Griner found herself facing a daunting nine-year sentence in a Russian prison her thoughts immediately turned to her wife, Cherelle, and the life they planned together.

 In her new memoir, Coming Home, Griner describes the emotional turmoil she endured while incarcerated particularly the fear that her relationship with Cherelle might not withstand the long separation.

Griner, who was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for possession of cannabis oil, recounts the chilling moment when a fellow inmate informed her to brace for at least a decade behind bars due to bureaucratic delays. 

"I might never see my parents again, and especially Pops with his health issues,” she writes. 

“My basketball career would be over. I’d be in my early forties and out of shape, would have to find a new way to provide for my wife. And Relle. She assured me she’d wait, but ten years was ridiculous.”

The memoir details Griner’s inner conflict and her subsequent offer to Cherelle—a lawyer she married in 2019—to move on without her.

 “I gave her an out.But she was basically like, ‘What? Stop it. Don’t you ever say that," Griner admits. 

Despite her circumstances, Griner found solace in Cherelle’s photos and letters, which she kept beside her bed on a metal dresser. 

“I’d lay there and look at her, talk to her as if she was sitting there,” Griner shared with People magazine. 

Cherelle, while naturally shying away from the spotlight, rose to the occasion by advocating tirelessly for Griner’s release. 

This included lobbying President Biden and setting the wheels of a prisoner swap in motion. 

Griner credits her wife's efforts, both publicly and privately, with not just supporting her through her ordeal but ultimately saving her life.

Their story reached a joyous milestone when the couple reunited on a tarmac in San Antonio on December 9, 2022. 

Now back in Phoenix, they are focused on rebuilding their lives and pursuing the dreams that were put on hold. 

They recently announced that Cherelle is expecting their first child in July, a development that promises new challenges and joys. “Here comes no sleep,” jokes Griner. “Especially in the beginning.”

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