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Love and Basketball, Generally Continents Aside

Andrea LeGrace Mingo and Danielle Robinson have recognized one another since 2004, after they had been 15 and competing within the trials for the under-16 U.S.A. Nationwide Workforce in ladies’s basketball in Colorado Springs.

Ms. Mingo was pleasant with everybody. Ms. Robinson was all enterprise.

“She was there to make the staff and go residence,” mentioned Ms. Mingo, who is thought to associates as Drey. She determined, although, that they’d turn into associates. “I used to be the nerdy, quirky child that was going to make her speak to me,” she mentioned, laughing.

The 2 would turn into good associates. They stayed in touch by highschool and noticed one another on the street at numerous journey basketball tournaments. Ms. Mingo performed for Marist Excessive Faculty in Atlanta, whereas Ms. Robinson was on the staff at Archbishop Mitty Excessive Faculty in San Jose, Calif.

They briefly misplaced contact main as much as school, however when Ms. Robinson heard that Ms. Mingo was sick with bacterial meningitis, she reached out to investigate cross-check her. Then they reconnected as professionals and by no means misplaced contact.

Ms. Mingo grew to become a help system for Ms. Robinson, too, when she was injured whereas enjoying basketball in March 2016. Ms. Mingo was enjoying skilled basketball for a staff in Lublin, Poland, on the time.

“I had surgical procedure on my Achilles’ tendon in 2016,” mentioned Ms. Robinson, who was then with the San Antonio Stars of the Ladies’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation. “After I was down about my harm, she was that one that confirmed up for me. It didn’t matter the time distinction, she was my particular person.”

Ms. Mingo additionally knew she had discovered somebody to really feel comfy with. “I noticed that I used to be in love with Danielle once I felt secure to inform her all my deepest, darkest secrets and techniques,” she mentioned. “She grew to become the good friend I didn’t need to go wherever with out. If there was one particular person I needed to share an expertise with, it was at all times her.”

Their first date was in Ms. Mingo’s hometown Atlanta in September 2016 at a restaurant referred to as Barcelona Wine Bar. They dined on Spanish tapas whereas reconnecting.

“It was simply catching up — and letting one another know we needed to take our relationship to the subsequent degree,” mentioned Ms. Robinson, who had traveled to Atlanta along with her staff to play the Atlanta Dream that week (Ms. Robinson was nonetheless injured and didn’t play).

Ms. Mingo continued to reside in Atlanta, and Ms. Robinson accomplished rehabbing her harm in San Antonio and was ultimately traded to the W.N.B.A.’s Phoenix Mercury in 2017. Ms. Robinson nonetheless maintains a house in San Antonio, Texas, the place she and Ms. Mingo now reside.

Ms. Robinson, 33, has a bachelor’s diploma in sociology from the College of Oklahoma and was drafted sixth over all within the 2011 W.N.B.A. Draft by the Stars. She has performed for the Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Las Vegas Aces, and since 2021 the Indiana Fever. She additionally had low season stints with skilled European groups in Turkey, Hungary, Poland and Prague.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

Ms. Mingo, additionally 33, graduated in 2013 from Purdue. Throughout her collegiate profession, she suffered a number of accidents, along with the bacterial meningitis that prompted her vital listening to loss. Regardless of these hardships, she continued her enjoying profession abroad with Belgium and Poland for 2 years after a short stint with the W.N.B.A.’s Washington Mystics. She now runs a nonprofit group for deaf kids referred to as Sounds of Serenity, and is a well being adviser for the Calm wellness app.

On Aug. 6, 2017, Ms. Mingo drove up from Atlanta to see Ms. Robinson, now on the Phoenix Mercury, compete in opposition to the Washington Mystics. The couple went out after the sport.

“I instructed Danielle that night time, I used to be able to be her girlfriend,” Ms. Mingo mentioned.

“She checked out me and was like, ‘I’m prepared.’ I used to be like, ‘for what?’” Ms. Robinson mentioned, laughing.

They maintained a long-distance relationship for a number of years as Ms. Robinson traveled the globe for her basketball commitments. Late-night calls and early morning texts stored them linked whereas aside. Ms. Mingo traveled abroad with Ms. Robinson to Poland one summer season, working late nights remotely and exploring the nation collectively by day.

Round Christmas 2019, the couple launched into a ship tour of the San Antonio River Stroll with a gaggle of associates. Ms. Robinson deliberate a non-public riverboat tour and traveled to a scenic a part of the river beneath the pretense of taking a gaggle photograph. When Ms. Mingo bought up for the photograph, Ms. Robinson bought down on one knee.

“I used to be bamboozled,” she recalled, laughing.

The couple had been married Nov. 4 earlier than about 150 company on the Canyonwood Ridge, an occasions area in Dripping Springs, Texas, simply outdoors of Austin. Sydney Colson, a W.N.B.A. participant for the Las Vegas Aces and a former teammate of Ms. Robinson’s, was ordained by the Common Life Church and officiated.

Throughout the ceremony the couple handed their wedding ceremony rings across the gallery for his or her company to hope over nonetheless they selected. In step with the theme of together with their company, they selected a shade scheme that might honor these in attendance.

“We selected black-and-white because the theme as a result of our associates convey the colour to our lives,” Ms. Robinson mentioned.

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