Wed. May 29th, 2024

WNBA Star Brittney Griner and Wife Cherelle Griner’s Relationship Timeline

By Michael Apr 14, 2024

Love and basketball. Brittney Griner is one of the best athletes in the WNBA — and she always has her sweetheart, Cherelle Griner, cheering her on from the sidelines.

The Olympic gold medalist and the teacher met as undergraduates at Baylor University in Texas while Brittney was making a name for herself as one of the best college basketball players of all time. They didn’t start dating until years later, however, when they reconnected after the athlete split from her first wife, Glory Johnson.

“I will never forget the day I met you at Baylor in the sub area!” Brittney wrote via Instagram in June 2020. “You tapped me on my shoulder and told me I took your milkshake (still up for debate lol) and I was immediately blown away at your beauty! You had no idea but I knew you were the one for me baby. You stuck by my side at the lowest and at the highest!”

The Phoenix Mercury center proposed to Cherelle in August 2018, and the duo tied the knot nearly one year later. Since then, the pair have repeatedly gushed over each other on social media, sharing snaps from vacations and commemorating their relationship milestones.

“Everyday with you is spectacular but when I get to celebrate your life and all that you are is just breathtaking !” Brittney wrote via Instagram in July 2020 to celebrate her spouse’s birthday. “To many more my love.”

In 2022, the couple became the subject of international news when the basketball star was detained in Russia on drug charges. Brittney was in the country playing with the EuroLeague team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason.

By the time the news broke in the United States in March 2022, Brittney had already been detained for two weeks. Officials were initially worried that an aggressive response could hurt her chances of a safe return amid Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, but in May 2022, the U.S. State Department said that Russia had “wrongfully detained” the Texas native.

“It’s an absolutely unimaginable situation for for BG,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert told Time after the State Department’s reclassification. “There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not working on this in some way. It was a really positive development for her case to be transferred into the part of the State Department that’s called the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. When you get this designation of being detained, not under the best conditions, they’ve shown success at getting people out.”

Cherelle, for her part, supported her wife from afar, sharing videos on social media of Brittney’s time on the court. “Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia,” she wrote via Instagram in March 2022. “Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life.”

In December 2022, Cherelle was a beaming sight at the White House as President Joe Biden announced that her wife had been released from Russian custody.

“After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones and she should have been there all along,” Biden said during a press release as Cherelle and Vice President Kamala Harris stood beside him.

“This is a day we’ve worked towards for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release,” he added.

Keep scrolling for a look back at Brittney and Cherelle’s complete relationship timeline.

August 2018
“I will never forget the first time I said I love you and I will never forget when you said YES!” Brittney wrote via Instagram after proposing to Cherelle. “My best friend, my lover, my partner in life. I love you. I’m so lucky to have you in my life forever. You never gave up on me even when I gave up on myself. You have pull me from the ashes and held me up when I couldn’t stand. You really are my backbone and my spirit that keeps me going. I love you baby.”
Courtesy of Brittney Griner/Instagram
June 2019
The duo tied the knot on June 18 nearly one year after their engagement.
Courtesy of Brittney Griner/Instagram
June 2020
Brittney marked the pair’s one-year wedding anniversary with a gushing Instagram tribute to her wife. “Your love never wavered with me at any point if anything it grew and you have showed me how to love and how to be loved!” she wrote. “You over the years have also showed me what it takes to Really have a Relationship that takes sacrifices, compassion, understanding, and communication! I have to give you the credit where it’s due! You have opened my eyes to see me for who I truly am!”
Courtesy of Cherelle Griner/Instagram
June 2021
Cherelle celebrated the couple’s second wedding anniversary with a loving Instagram post about her wife. “Forever a party of two ❤️— well— until kids 😂,” she joked. “But for now can we get two of everything please: two tickets, two large popcorns (we don’t share food), one soda & one water (BG ain’t drinking water🤧)! Y’all get the gist! Lol I love you babe.”
Courtesy of Brittney Griner/Instagram
February 2022
After Brittney’s arrest, Cherelle offered a handful of social media updates to fans. “We love you babe!” the Arkansas native wrote via Instagram in March. “People say ‘stay busy.’ Yet, there’s not a task in this world that could keep any of us from worrying about you. My heart, our hearts, are all skipping beats everyday that goes by. I miss your voice. I miss your presence. You’re our person! There are no words to express this pain. I’m hurting, we’re hurting. We await the day to love on you as a family.”
Courtesy of Cherelle Griner/Instagram
May 2022
The WNBA kicked off its season with a tribute to Brittney, with her teammates wearing shirts bearing the message, “We are BG.” Cherelle, for her part, shared old videos of her wife on the court. “It’s GAME DAY!” she wrote via Instagram.  
Courtesy of Brittney Griner/Instagram
May 2022
Cherelle appeared on Good Morning America to discuss her wife’s ongoing detention and confirmed that she spoke to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about the situation. “You say she’s top priority, but I wanna see it, and I feel like to see it would be me seeing BG on U.S. soil,” she said of the call. “She’s a political pawn.”
Cherelle, who graduated from law school that same month, noted that her wife only plays in Russia because WNBA salaries are not high enough to cover expenses. “BG would wholeheartedly love to not go overseas,” she explained. “She has only had one Thanksgiving in the States in nine years since she’s been pro, and she misses all that stuff. Just because, you know, she can’t make enough money in the WNBA, like, to sustain her life.”
ABC News/YouTube
June 2022
After LeBron James called for Brittney’s release in a social media message, Cherelle reposted his remarks via her Instagram Stories. “We need to come together and help do whatever we possibly can to bring BG home quickly and safely!!” the Space Jam: A New Legacy star tweeted. “Our voice as athletes is stronger together.”
Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock
July 2022
After Brittney wrote a pleading letter to President Joe Biden asking for help, Cherelle revealed that her wife is “struggling” amid her ongoing detention. “Initially, you know, I was told … we’re going to try and handle this behind [the] scenes and, you know, let’s not raise her value and, you know, stay quiet and, you know, I did that. And respectfully, we’re over 140 days at this point, that does not work, and so I will not be quiet anymore,” she said during an interview with CBS Mornings. “I will find that balance of, you know, harm versus help in pushing our government to do everything that’s possible because being quiet, they are not moving, they are not doing anything. And so my wife is struggling, and we have to help her.”
One day later, the White House said that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had spoken with Cherelle by phone to discuss Brittney’s case. “The President called Cherelle to reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world,” the White House explained in a statement. “He also read her a draft of the letter the President is sending to Brittney Griner today.” 
ANDREJ CUKIC/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
December 2022
Biden confirmed that the WNBA star would be released in exchange for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout following “intense” negotiations in the United Arab Emirates.
“These past few months have been hell for Brittney and Cherelle,” Biden said. “People all across the country have learned about Brittney’s story and advocated for her release and stood with her throughout this terrible ordeal, and I know that support meant a lot to her family. I’m glad to be able to say that Brittney is in good spirits and relieved to finally be heading home.”
He then handed the podium over to Cherelle, who thanked the entire Biden administration. “For the last nine months, you all have been so privy to one of the darkest moments of my life and so today, I am just standing here overwhelmed with emotions. The most important emotion that I have right now is just sincere gratitude for President Biden and his entire administration,” she said before thanking Vice President Harris and so many others.
Cherelle added: “Today my family is whole — but as you all are aware, there are so many other families who are not whole. [Brittney] and I will remain committed to the work of getting every American home.”
Pool/ABACA/Shutterstock
February 2023
Two months after Brittney’s release from Russia, she and Cherelle hit the NAACP Image Awards for a date night.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
April 2023
The pair packed on the PDA at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. 
Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock
April 2024
They announced that their first baby was on the way via Instagram. “Can’t believe we’re less than three months away from meeting our favorite human being 🤍 #BabyGrinerComingSoon #July2024,” the duo captioned a photo of themselves holding hands next to ultrasound photos.
John Shearer/WireImage

By Michael

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