Russel Westbrook is an American basketball player who plays in the point guard position at the professional level. Though naturally talented, he may not have made it this far in his career if not for the unwavering support of his wife, Nina Earl (now, Nina Westbrook).
A lot of people may know Nina just as the wife of an NFL player, but very few are aware of her prowess and excellent performance as an athlete which earned her multiple awards as a college basketball player from the much recognized UCLA Bruins Women Basketball Team. Besides sports, she has also demonstrated deep interest and talent in music and is equally proficient in American sign language. More interesting information about the beautiful lady is unveiled below.
Things You Should Know About Nina Earl’s Background
Born Nina Ann-Marie Earl on January 16, 1989, in Upland, Southern Califonia, where she was also raised, the former basketball player is the daughter of Michael Earl and Jennifer Lyons. She has three siblings (all brothers) named Michael, Jonathan, and Benjamin, and is also the cousin of NFL legend, Kenny Easley.
The beautiful lady attended Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California. For the love she has for athletics, she joined the school’s basketball and track event teams, excelling greatly in both. Following her impressive exploits in the game of basketball, Nina eventually landed an athletic scholarship tо the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).
At UCLA, she joined the female basketball team known as The UCLA Bruins, but her commitment to the team notwithstanding, Nina was not found wanting in her academics. Alongside her college basketball career, she studied Psychology (major) and English (minor) and graduated in 2011 with flying colours.
Considering her collegiate basketball record, one would have thought Nina Earl will move straight to the women’s professional basketball league but being a professional basketball player was not what she wanted for herself. As a result, she chose to further her education and enrolled for her master’s degree at UCLA, finishing with an M.A in clinical psychology, with her speciality in marriage and family therapy.
Her High School Athletic Exploits
Playing for the Diamond Ranch High School basketball team, Nina Earl exhibited so much talent, contributing to the victory of her team at the 2006 CIF 3AA championship, an achievement which she considers her biggest athletic thrill. She also helped her team win the 2007 CIF title game with her record of 35 points.
Thanks to her many exceptional performances on the court, she earned a number of awards and recognition, including two California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Player of the Year awards, three league Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours, and Cal Hi Sports All-State selection. She was also named MVP of the CIF vs. City All-Star game in addition to earning the Street & Smith’s and Rise Magazine’s honourable mention All-America honours.
By the end of her four-year high school basketball career, Nina Earl had recorded an outstanding 2,291 points, 906 rebounds, 298 assists, and 544 steals. Also as a high school student, Nina played club basketball for FBC and shared in the team’s victory at the Adidas Tournament of Champions in 2006.
Apart from basketball, Nina Earl also participated in track and field activities, as already hinted, and received a letter for her performance in one season. She took part in the 4×400 relay and 400-meter relay competitions in the CIF League.
Continuing Her Stellar Performance With The Bruins
At UCLA, she continued to be an outstanding player on the College women’s basketball team, The UCLA Bruins. In the 2007/2008 season, she played 31 games, starting 15 and scoring 17 points in her first career start during the game against the Cal Poly Mustangs. Also in the same season, she recorded 23-point, 10-rebound in a game at Arizona, making it her first double-double as a college player.
By the end of the season, Nina had scored in double figures in 11 games and helped the team to score on five different occasions. Her outstanding performance earned her the honourable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman and All-Defensive team honours.
The following season, the power forward played in 31 games and started four. She recorded two or more steals in nine of her games, scored double figures in eight games, and contributed to the victory of her team over the San Diego State Aztecs with a season-high 17 points. During her senior season in 2009/2010, Nina Earl started the first five games that were played and recorded a career-best shot of 512 in addition to scoring a season-best 13 points, which brought the number of her double-double score to 21.
According to her team bio, Nina was one of the team’s strongest hands because she could play in any position on the floor and was among the fastest players the team could boast of during her time. For her contributions to the team, she was honoured in March 2011 during the Bruins’ Senior Day ceremony.
Interesting Truths About Nina’s Love Life
While a lot of people at UCLA may easily remember Nina Earl for her exploits on the basketball court, she will forever remember the institution not only for her degree and master’s certificate but also as a place where she met her future husband. Now married to NBA player, Russell Westbrook, the duo attended UCLA and met while they were playing for the school’s College Basketball teams and began dating in 2007 as undergraduates.
The couple remained together even after they had graduated from college and later moved to Oklahoma following Russell’s decision to play for the Oklahoma City Thunder. After seven long years of being an item, Nina and Russell took their relationship to the next level when he proposed to her and she said yes.
The well-reported engagement took place on the 4th of September 2014 and it featured a “six-piece elongated cushion cut” diamond ring that cost the NBA star a whopping $700,000. Determined to pick nothing short of the best ring for his future wife, Russell employed the services of celebrity jeweller, Jason of Beverly Hills, who designed the masterpiece.
Obviously excited about spending the rest of his life with his dream woman, Russell Westbrook took to Instagram to share the news of their engagement with his fans, posting a picture of Nina showing off the beautiful ring.
Nina and Westbrook Tied The Knot in Beverly Hills
Nina Westbrook (nee Earl) is very much a family woman now. Her surname changed since August 29, 2015, when she and Russel Westbrook exchanged marital vows with each other in a very private ceremony that took place at Beverly Hills Hotel. The couple got hitched in an outdoor ceremony and danced to Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo’s hit song, Nothing Even Matters, for their first dance.
Also present to entertain the quests was Keri Hilson and somewhere else on the music side was Grammy Award winner, Miguel, who thrilled the guests with a surprise performance. Following the couple’s UCLA basketball history, it was no surprise that their wedding was well-attended by many basketball royalties some of who include Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant, and James Harden, who came along with his date, Khloe Kardashian.
In accordance with Nina and Russell’s wish, the wedding attendees were mandated to enjoy their time with the couple without taking pictures with their phones or cameras. It’s been almost five years since they became husband and wife and they are still very much in love with each other. Social media posts from the couple (especially Russell) is a testament to this fact.
Their Family Has Increased By Three
Since their wedding in 2015, the couple has so far been blessed with three gorgeous kids. Their first kid, a son, is named Noah Russell Westbrook. Noah arrived in May 2017 and even though his parents never made any official announcement about the pregnancy, people got to know that the couple was expecting through an early 2017 Instagram post by Nina which served as a hint.
Then, on November 17, 2018, Nina Earl gave birth to a set of twin girls named Sky and Jordyn. Prior to their arrival, Nina and Russell announced that they were pregnant via a YouTube video posted by the latter. The video began with the couple sharing their experiences as the father and mother of a baby boy. According to the NBA player, being a dad is top on his priority list and no matter what he does, it is of utmost importance to him that his little boy understands that he is first his father before anything else.
The former female basketball player also commended her husband’s effort in being a good father to their son and later in the video, they announced that they were expecting a set of twin daughters. Nina keeps her fans up-to-date on the growth of her children through her Instagram page, which is filled with pictures of the little ones creating fun memories with their parents.
On the 10th of February, 2020, she openly admitted the fact that even though parenting is a fulfilling task, it is not an easy one.
Nina Earl Is Living A Fulfilling Life Outside Motherhood
In addition to the many responsibilities that come with being a mother, Nina has other things on her plate too. Not wanting to take her basketball career to the professional level after graduating from UCLA, Nina is said to have practised what she studied, working as a marriage and family therapist for a while. However, she is currently an entrepreneur, running a boutique named The Little Ark. Nina’s decision to establish The Little Ark is based on her experience as a family woman and marriage therapist, which opened her eyes to see the need to create an opportunity for families in the Oklahoma community to bond.
According to the company’s website, The Little Ark caters to babies, kids, and their parents, offering them stylish and clever gifts merchandise in addition to fun classes aimed at creating a bond between parents and their kids. Additionally, the boutique offers cooking and CPR classes. Explaining her reason for incorporating the classes during an interview with the Oklahoma Gazette, Nina said it was because she had become so used to working with groups of people – kids, students, and adults in the course of her career as a marriage and family therapist.
The company is located at Nicholas Hills, Oklahoma City, and opens from Mondays through Saturdays – ten in the morning to six in the evening. However, following Russell’s move to the Houston Rockets, it is likely that The Little Ark might close down as Nina suggested in a recent Instagram post that her family will leave Oklahoma.
She Is Involved In Charity Work
As a way of giving back to society, Nina and her husband embark on philanthropy together. They are said to be running a number of charity outfits, however, the only one we are able to trace is so uniquely named Russell Welbrook Why Not? Foundation. The foundation was established by Russell with the purpose of inspiring kids to never let opportunities pass them by and never give up on their dreams. Under an aspect of the organization known as Russell’s Reading Room, which is dedicated to helping disadvantaged children in the society, the foundation also provides education for kids.
Nina Earl features prominently as part of the foundation during Thanksgiving when the Russell Westbrook Why Not? makes out time to give food to underprivileged children in their Oklahoma community in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club. While she was able to attend the 2017 edition of the event and even posted a picture of herself and her husband serving food while standing side by side on Instagram, she missed the 2018 edition because it took place just five days after she had her twin daughters.