Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle, has opened up about reuniting with the WNBA star in a new interview.
On 8 December, the beloved basketball player returned to the United States after President Joe Biden struck a deal with Russia to exchange her for arms dealer Viktor Bout.
“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” Biden revealed in an official statement (per CNN).
“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.”
Over the last few weeks, Griner’s fans, family and industry peers have celebrated her return with various statements and social media posts including her dedicated wife, Cherelle.
In a recent interview with People, the 30-year-old gave further insight into how she navigated life while her partner was wrongfully detained in Russia.
“I was hopeless a lot of days. You try and stay grounded, but I’m human. Still, I would never completely give up home on my wife’s life,” she explained.
Fortunately, Cherelle was finally able to “exhale” when President Biden announced that Griner was finally returning home, following 10 months of detention.
“I had thought about that moment a thousand times, and I thought I would be full of tears. But I was overwhelming happy,” she said. “I [was] like, ‘Oh, thank God, this is such a great day.”
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Cherelle then went on to open up about their heartwarming reunion at the airport – which she described as a surreal moment.
“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 revealed.
“I couldn’t stop touching her face. I was like, ‘Is this really you? It did not feel real. It was chilling – and warm. I was just holding on tight, I couldn’t let her go.”
Cherelle’s emotional interview comes a week after Griner made her first statement since her return to the US.
Taking to Instagram on 16 December, the young talent uploaded a lengthy statement in which she thanked her fans for their support.
“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,” she said.
In addition to expressing her gratitude, Griner also encouraged her fans to support the return of Paul Whelan, another American who is wrongfully detained in Russia.
Towards the end of her heartfelt statement, the talented player announced that she would be returning to the Phoenix Mercury to play in the upcoming 2023 WNBA season.
“I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon,” she added.
We can’t wait to see the two lovebirds continue to thrive in the future.