Brittney Griner’s Wife Cherelle Recalls Feeling ‘Hopeless’ During WNBA Star’s Prison Stint & Opens Up About Emotional Adjustment Following Her Release: We’re Definitely Trying To Figure Out How We Blend Back As One
Brittney Griner is finally home, and her loved ones still can’t believe it.
Earlier this month, Brittney Griner departed a Russian prison in a one-for-one swap for notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout. The celebrated exchange was reportedly approved by President Joe Biden and took place in the United Arab Emirates.
As you may know, in February of this year, the 32-year-old was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Lobnya, Moscow Oblast for illegally lugging vaporizer cartridges, containing hash oil, in her travel bag. Although the fight for Griner’s return was quite the battle, her wife, Cherelle Griner, couldn’t be happier to have her back in her presence — even if it is a psychological adjustment for the both of them.
During a recent interview, Cherelle Griner candidly spoke out about the mental journey that the Phoenix Mercury star’s imprisonment took her on and the effects of the bumps and bruises along the way.
When speaking of Griner’s initial nine-year sentencing, she said,
“It was almost as if somebody just punched you in the stomach and you inhaled. You never get to breathe out.”
Cherelle Griner, who (amazingly) was able to finish law school amid the criminal crisis, continued by expressing that her faith started to dwindle as the dreary days of her partner’s wrongful lockup went by.
“I was hopeless a lot of days. You try and stay grounded, but I’m human. Still, I would never completely give up hope on my wife’s life.”
Persistently pushing through the pain of Griner’s temporary absence, the 30-year-old was even more elated when she realized that the days of hoping and wishing were over, and Griner was out of the hazardous conditions overseas and on her way to her humble abode in the States.
“I was overwhelmingly happy. It was the first time I was able to finally exhale, and I’m like, ‘Oh, thank God! This is such a great day! We were both just instantly crying. I was standing there full of tears, and someone ran over and handed me a handkerchief. I definitely needed it.”
She then expressed how surreal the moment felt. So much so that she and Griner pulled an all-nighter on the day of her release, catching up on conversations they’d missed over the past (almost) year.
But… although the two are (seemingly) reliving their honeymoon phase, getting back into the swing of their normal lives is their primary focus.
According to Cherelle Griner, the lovebirds are in the process of reconnecting with each other after the loss of so much time. She explained,
“It’s unfortunate that those ten months happened without us being able to be side-by-side, but it happened, and we’re embracing the fact that we now get to learn each other’s story through that time. So, we’re taking it slow. We are not doing it all at once. But we are honoring the fact that I went through something that was really hard and difficult without BG’s awareness, and vice versa. Day by day, we’re just feeding a little bit to the soul and understanding each other’s journey so we can actually start walking together.”
Having three years of marriage under their belts, Mrs. Griner further detailed the couple’s pursuit of rediscovering the parts of their union they were robbed of throughout her mate’s stay in Russia.
“On one hand, I’m doing amazing. My family’s whole, I have my person, and so I feel the most supported and safe and secure as I’ve ever felt in life. But it’s very overwhelming. We’re plus-thirteen days in from BG being away for almost ten months. So, it’s a new journey for us, and so… we’re definitely trying to figure out how we blend back as one.”
Upon her homecoming, Brittney Griner took to her Instagram to share a quick word with the world. In part, she wrote:
“It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help.”
Welcome home, BG!
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