Who is Cherelle Watson?
Cherelle Griner (nee Watson) was born on 1 July 1992, in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. She’s primarily known for being the wife of professional basketball player Brittney Griner, but in addition is a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, and has recently graduated from law school.
Early Life and Education
Cherelle grew up in a middle-class family in Arkansas, and dreamed of becoming a teacher, like her mother, so studied Education at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. After graduating in 2014, she started working as a math teacher, but later quit her job to study Law.
In May 2022, Cherelle announced that she’d graduated from North Caroline Central University with a Juris Doctor degree, which is one of the requirements to practice law in the US. Cherelle was a very diligent student, and graduated cum laude, as one of the best in her generation.
We Are BG Movement
At the time of Cherelle’s graduation, her wife Brittney was stuck in a Russian prison for drug possession. Brittney was detained on 17 February 2022 at the Sheremetyevo Airport outside of Moscow, after the customs found vape cartridges that apparently contained cannabis derivates.
Only a few days later, Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine, which complicated the US efforts to bring the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star home. Furthermore, she was faced with a 10-year sentence under Russian law. On 17 March, Brittney’s detention was extended until 19 May, while her case was being investigated.
Brittney’s case sparked nationwide attention in the US, with many advocating for her freedom. Cherelle also got involved, launching the ‘We Are BG‘ movement in solidarity with her wife. The campaign also advocated for other US citizens detained in Russia to be brought home. In the following months, Cherelle appeared on several news networks to speak up about the cause.
Many of Brittney’s colleagues from the WNBA spoke up too, revealing that a lot of female basketball players head to Russia and other countries during the off-season, because their salaries are significantly higher there. They advocated for their work to be valued properly in the US, so that situations like Brittney’s don’t repeat. In anticipation of the 2022 season openers, the WNBA announced that a decal featuring Brittney’s initials and her No. 42 jersey number would be affixed to each court across the league.
Brittney’s trial began on 1 July 2022, and she eventually pleaded guilty to drug possession, in what many viewed as a strategic move to facilitate the process of returning to the US. Brittney was found guilty on 4 August, and sentenced to nine years in prison.
All through her wife’s legal battle, Cherelle maintained pressure on the White House to bring detained Americans home. She met with President Joe Biden on 16 September 2022, joined by Elizabeth Whelan, sister of the former US Marine Paul Whelan who was also detained in Russia.
By that point, the US officials had made several exchange offers to Russia, all of which were ignored. The diplomatic battle for Brittney finally ended on 8 December, after a successful prisoner exchange. However, the deal sparked some controversy, with a lot of people criticizing the exchange as ‘unfair’ since it excluded Whelan and gave up Viktor Bout, who was serving a sentence in the US for conspiring to sell weapons to terrorist organizations.
Marriage with Brittney Griner
Cherelle and Brittney married in 2019, in a private ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona. The couple had been engaged since 2017, having initially met during their days at Baylor University. The wedding was a small and intimate affair, with close friends and family in attendance. The couple exchanged vows in front of a waterfall and later celebrated with a reception at a local restaurant.
Brittney Griner Proposes to Girlfriend with Massive Ring: WNBA superstar Brittney Griner just proposed to her longtime girlfriend with a fat ring … and she said YES!! The Phoenix Mercury center shared the news of her engagement to Cherelle Watson on… https://t.co/2e9pa0dX8M pic.twitter.com/sONItwMnOk
— News by Amanda (@amandasome) August 2, 2018
Brittney and Cherelle’s relationship has been publicly documented through social media and interviews, and they often share photos and messages of love and support for each other on their respective social media accounts. In an interview with ESPN in 2019, Brittney spoke about the importance of having Cherelle in her life, saying ‘She’s my rock. I don’t know where I would be without her. She’s everything to me’.
Cherelle and Brittney have also been open about their struggles and challenges as a same-sex couple. They’ve been vocal about their desire to start a family, and have shared their journey with fans and followers on social media.
Brittney Griner Wiki Bio
Brittney Yvette Griner is a professional basketball player known for her dominant presence on the court, and her advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights. Brittney has received numerous accolades and has become one of the most recognized figures in women’s basketball.
Brittney was born on 18 October 1990, in Houston, Texas. She grew up with a love of basketball, and began playing in sixth grade. She attended Nimitz High School in Houston, where she quickly made a name for herself on the basketball court. Brittney showed a lot of potential during her teenage years and set several records, including the Texas high school record for most blocks in a season.
After matriculating in 2009, Brittney attended Baylor University, where she continued her basketball career. During her freshman year, she led Baylor to a 27-10 record and helped the team reach the Final Four of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament. Brittney quickly became one of the best players in college basketball, and over the course of her college career, set several records and earned a number of accolades, including three-time Big 12 Player of the Year, three-time All-American, and two-time Naismith College Player of the Year.
Brittney’s success in college led to her being drafted first overall by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2013 WNBA Draft. Brittney made an immediate impact in her rookie season, averaging 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game. She was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year and was selected to the All-Star team.
Over the course of her career, Brittney has established herself as one of the most dominant players in the WNBA. She is known for her height, athleticism, and her ability to block shots and alter the game defensively. Brittney has been named to the All-WNBA Team six times and has been named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year twice. She has also been selected to the All-Star team eight times, and was named the All-Star Game MVP in 2014.
In addition to her WNBA success, Brittney has played internationally, representing the US in the 2014 FIBA World Championship. In 2016, she played for the national team again at the Summer Olympics, helping her team win the gold medal. She would go on to repeat the same success five years later, at the 2020/21 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Brittney has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and has used her platform as a professional athlete to raise awareness about issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. She came out publicly as a lesbian in 2013 and has been an advocate for acceptance and equality ever since.
In addition to her advocacy work, Brittney has also been open about her struggles with mental health. She has spoken publicly about her experiences with depression and anxiety, and has advocated for greater awareness and understanding of mental health issues.
Brittney has also been involved in philanthropic work, partnering with organizations such as the It Gets Better Project and the Trevor Project to support LGBTQ+ youth.
As of April 2023, Brittney’s net worth has been estimated at more than $17 million.