Nina Earl is a professional basketball player, entrepreneur, and licensed therapist, also known for being the wife of NBA player Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards.

Early Life

Nina Ann-Marie Earl was born on 16 January 1989 in Upland, California USA, to parents Jennifer Lyons and Michael Earl. Her father was a famous puppeteer with four Emmy awards, known and loved particularly for the character Mr. Snuffleupagus on the kid’s show “Sesame Street.” Nina has three brothers named Jonathan, Benjamin, and Michael Jr.

MVP on and off the court.We congratulate Russell Westbrook and his new wife Nina Earl on there wedding. Sweethearts since Russells UCLA days.

Posted by Basketball House on Sunday, August 30, 2015

One can say that sport runs in her blood, as Nina is the cousin of UCLA American Football star Kenny Easley, who played seven seasons for the Seattle Seahawks.

Education and Personal Interests

Nina matriculated from Diamond Ranch High School, located in Pomona, California. Her love of basketball started here, and her impressive talents are proven by her stats. She was also very smart and got good grades, plus participating in other extra-curricular activities such as track and field. She also enjoyed listening to music, shopping, and baking, and also studied American Sign Language.

After high school, Nina attended the University of California in Los Angeles, UCLA, graduated with a degree in psychology and English literature. Nina went on to earn a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from the same university. She continued playing basketball too.

Career

High School Basketball

In Diamon Ranch High School, she started off 27 games averaging15 points in her first season. In her sophomore year, she improved and made 20 points with 9.8 rebounds overall. She continued to have a passion for the sport in her junior year, and started gaining popularity for her talent, mentioned as a great player in the magazines “Street & Smith’s” and “Rise Magazine’s All-America.”

In 2003, she and her team made it to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) 3AA championship and won. She has mentioned that this was the highlight of her basketball activities in high school. By the time of her matriculation, she had earned the title of most valuable player (MVP) of the CIF league thrice, and the title player of the year twice.

College Basketball

After high school, Nina played forward for the UCLA Bruins female basketball team. Even in her freshman year, she started over half of the 31 games and scored double-digit points in 11 of the games. By the end of the season, she had a average of 23 points and 10 rebounds including a double-double.

In her sophomore and junior years, she continued to start the majority of games and earn impressive double-digit scores. As a junior, she achieved her best scoring percentage of .512. At the end of her bachelor studies, she had played a total of 124 games and scored over 600 points which is an impressive feat. Unlike her peers, Nina didn’t wish to continue pursuing basketball after graduating from college, instead focusing on her master’s studies in psychology.

Therapy

Nina is a licensed therapist who now specializes in family and marital life, hosting mental health and wellness workshops, and running a blog entitled “Bene by Nina.” She strives to help erase the stigma around mental health by supporting people on their journey to wellness.

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Her important mission has been featured by well-known outlets like the New York Times, Goop, BET and ABC13. She posts about her work, daily life, and family on her Instagram page.

Relationship with Russel Westbrook

Nina and her NBA All-Star beau were college sweethearts at UCLA, while playing in the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Not a lot is known about the celebrity couple’s relationship in college, but when asked about what he liked about Nina in 2013, Russel said, ‘She’s a smart girl. She’s in school right now, trying to get her master’s in psychology. She knows what she wants to do in life, which is great.’ He also answered ‘we shall see’ and smiled when the interviewer mentioned marriage.

The romantic couple married in August of 2015, at The Beverly Hills Hotel, and their first dance was to the song “Nothing Even Matters” by D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill. Artist Miguel showed up later in the day for a special surprise performance. Musical star Keri Hilson was also at the wedding, as were many famous names from the basketball hall of fame, including Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant, who both played on Russel’s team at the time. Kevin Love was also there as he and Russel were teammates in the UCLA Bruins. The Houston Rockets player James Harden came with his date Khloe Kardashian.

Children

The couple had their first child Noah, in May of 2017, then a year later, they announced that they were pregnant with twins in a YouTube video on the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team’s page. Their girls, Jordyn and Skye, were born in November 2018. Unlike Nina’s previous birth, this one led to unexpected issues and complications, which made the whole process more difficult. About these health issues, Nina wrote, ‘I feel so fortunate that we had the care that we had, but it pains me to know that a woman dies from pregnancy-related causes every 12 hours and that 60% of those deaths are preventable.’

The family later joined a campaign by March of Dimes aimed at raising awareness about the discriminatory healthcare system in the US, stating that access available to good maternal and infant healthcare is limited for black mothers. Fortunately, Nina, Russell and their three children are doing well now, and apparently happily living their life together.

Nina is now 6ft 1in (1.85m) tall, and weighs 175lbs (80kgs). As of early 2022, her net worth is estimated at $1.5 million, earned from her professional career. Husband Russell’s wealth is estimated at an impressive $170 million, which Nina no doubt shares.

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