The WNBA star, 32, surprised her wife on Tuesday with a birthday celebration, even though Cherelle’s birthday isn’t until July 1.
Cherelle, 30, shared an inside look at the sweet gesture on her Instagram story. “Walked in from our morning hike to this beautiful surprise,” Cherelle wrote.
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“No, it’s not my birthday,” Cherelle explained, “But bae missed my 30th last summer, obviously,” referring to Brittney’s ten-month detainment in Russia last year.
Brittney was detained at a Moscow airport last February when authorities found marijuana cartridges in her luggage. She remained in the country until December, when President Biden negotiated an exchange deal to bring her home.
Cherelle’s Instagram story continued, “It’s never too late to celebrate me if you ask me! Lol! I don’t usually do sweets — but I’m about to eat all of them.”
The couple has been enjoying quality time with each other before Brittney returns to the Phoenix Mercury for the upcoming WNBA season.
The WNBA All-Star will play her first game since her return to the United States in Los Angeles, California when the Mercury take on the Los Angeles Sparks during the team’s season opener on May 19.
On Monday, Brittney advocated for the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovitch, who was arrested for alleged spying in Russia. In an Instagram post, she encouraged the Biden administration to “bring Evan and all wrongfully detained Americans home.
“Our hearts are filled with great concern for Evan Gershkovitch and his family since Evan’s detainment in Russia,” the Griners wrote. “We must do everything in our power to bring him and all Americans home.”
“We are grateful for President Biden and his administration’s deep commitment to rescue Americans. We celebrate their recent successful efforts to bring home Jeff Woodke and Paul Rusesabagina,” the couple continued. “Every American who is taken is ours to fight for, and every American returned is a win for us all.”
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner is set to release a memoir about her experience of being arrested and incarcerated in Russia.
Griner, 32, who was headed back to Russia to join UMMC Ekaterinburg, the professional team she played for there, was detained for nearly 10 months, most of which was spent in prison. She was eventually released in a prisoner exchange with Russia in December 2022.
The book, scheduled for release in spring 2024, will detail Griner’s wrongful detainment in Moscow in February 2022, when she was charged with drug smuggling and possession after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage.
She shared an Instagram post on Tuesday with a lengthy message expressing her hope that her memoir would raise awareness of other Americans detained overseas.
In her previous book, In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court, published in 2014, Griner opened up about her struggles with bullying and being a gay athlete.
Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time All-American at Baylor University, and a prominent advocate for pay equity for women athletes. She is also the first openly gay athlete to reach an endorsement deal with Nike.
Griner’s memoir is currently untitled and will eventually be published in a young adult edition.
Griner’s memoir comes at a time when the detention of Americans overseas has become a topic of concern. In her statement, Griner mentioned other Americans detained overseas, including Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, arrested in Russia last month and accused of espionage, businessman Kai Li serving a 10-year sentence in China on charges of revealing state secrets to the FBI, and Paul Whelan, a corporate security executive imprisoned in Russia on spying charges.
After returning, Brittney took to Instagram to thank those who had a hand in ensuring she returned home. She then vowed to use her platform to raise awareness of the Americans detained in Russia, like Paul Whelan, in hopes of bringing them home. In regards to her returning to her career, Brittney said she’s planning on it.
“I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon,” the post concluded.