MINNEAPOLIS — Cheryl Reeve knows Britney Griner the player — and Britney Griner the person.
And for the last 294 days, she's been waiting for this day.
"What an unbelievable surprise this morning," Reeve said. "It was one of those moments that you will remember where you were."
Reeve was driving her son to school when her wife called yelling.
"Brittney is coming home!"
That call happened thousands of times Thursday for many who know and love Britney, especially in her world of basketball.
"These players are close — not just competitors on different teams and you're not really in tune to one another — many of them know each other through years of competition or years of playing overseas so it really is a sisterhood," said Reeve.
Those players talked over and over again about BG on social, at press conferences — anytime they had the chance. But Cheryl said it wasn't just the public talk, it was in silence, too.
That they all lived with every one of the last 294 days.
"I think that they didn't talk nearly as much about the pain and the heaviness they felt in playing in the WNBA this past season," Reeve said. "It was incredible weight on each of them and they thought of her every single day, well all did. It was just a massive void."
Reeve described the massive void left in Griner's absence.
"She's so warm and giving and will do anything for anyone. That is who she is and I am so hopeful that her soul has not been touched in a negative way because she's an absolutely amazing person."
Griner now faces a new future, but one she won't face alone, Reeve said. The women of the W have her back, for whatever she chooses to do.
"I don't know what new normal is for Britney," Reeve said. "I am thrilled she has regained her freedom and she will be back in the US, her home, and be with loved ones and take whatever time that she needs to be whole again as a person."
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