The WNBA star was 'completely shocked' when the NFL offensive lineman popped the question
It looks like 2023 is an all-star year for Sabrina Ionescu. She released her signature shoe with Nike, she won the WNBA 3-point contest with a record-breaking 37 points in July and she started the year off with a marriage proposal, that she accepted.
In January 2023, her longtime boyfriend, NFL player Hroniss Grasu, popped the question with an elaborate rooftop proposal. “I was completely shocked and caught off guard,” she explained in a TikTok of the event, adding, “I was just so happy.” Afterward, the couple celebrated their engagement with their family and friends.
Throughout their relationship, the pair have remained relatively private, revealing few details about their love story. Still, it’s clear that Grasu is supportive of Ionescu, on and off the court as the pro football player is frequently seen at her games.
So, who is Sabrina Ionescu fiancé? Here's everything to know about Hroniss Grasu and his relationship with the professional basketball player.
He’s an NFL player
Like Ionescu, Grasu is a star in the world of sports. He was first drafted to the NFL in 2015 by the Chicago Bears. The football center now plays for the Las Vegas Raiders.
In an interview with Nets Republic, Ionescu admitted that their busy schedules can be a challenge, especially when it comes to planning a wedding. “That’s not the easiest thing to sort out,” she said. “You know, being engaged but soon to be married with an athlete. It’s always something that you have to tackle.”
Still, she understands his career and is always showing her support from the sidelines. In December 2022, she shared a sweet photo on Instagram of her at a game wearing a "Grasu" jersey with the caption, “Appreciation post- being able to support one another in our pro careers is something I’ll never take for granted 🤍 #65.”
He went to the University of Oregon
Prior to being drafted by the NFL, Grasu played college football at the University of Oregon. The following year, in 2016, Ionescu began studying at the same university. While there, she earned her bachelor’s degree in three years while playing basketball for the Ducks.
Both Ionescu and Grasu majored in general social sciences.
His parents emigrated from Romania
Along with their alma mater and professional careers, Ionescu and Grasu have another thing in common: a Romanian heritage.
Grasu was born in Los Angeles after his parents emigrated from Romania. Similarly, Ionescu’s parents and older brother emigrated to the U.S. from Romania during the 1989 revolution. Ionescu was born in Walnut Creek, California, and grew up speaking both English and Romanian.
Speaking to PEOPLE about her signature shoe collection with Nike, the WNBA star explained that she wanted to honor her family and heritage with the design. "It's shaped me into who I am, the basketball player I am, and the person I am," she said.
Continuing, she explained some of the “Easter eggs” in the shoes’ design, including a lowercase “i” and the words “Anyone, Anywhere” hidden inside the arch, a quote that represents how her family always encouraged her.
"They didn't care that I wanted to play basketball and girls were supposed to play with dolls or whatever the gender norm was, they were going to support me and they still do to this day," she said.
Now, she wants to be similarly inspirational to future athletes. "The first thing when a young girl opens the shoe, I just want them to be able to see possibility and to have a dream and to do everything it takes for them to accomplish that because I was able to do that."
They became Instagram official in 2021
The first public sign of their relationship came in 2021.
Ionescu shared photos of the couple on Instagram for the first time in August 2021. “Happy Birthday to my person! Always smiling with you🤍” she wrote along with a series of pictures of the two together.
He proposed in 2023
In January 2023, the couple got engaged. Ionescu announced the news on Instagram with a series of photos showing Grasu down on one knee surrounded by flowers and candles. “It’s always us🤍 here’s to forever with you – 1.20.23 #finally” she wrote in the caption.
She revealed more details about their engagement in a TikTok. Initially, she thought she was going to a GQ photo shoot but in reality, Grasu had planned out an elaborate proposal with her agents in order to surprise her.
“I was completely shocked and caught off guard because he played it off so well,” she said. Afterward, their friends and family came up in a party bus to celebrate with the happy couple. “I couldn’t stop taking pictures with my ring,” she said, adding, “this night was just so special.”
They’re friends with Vanessa Bryant
After announcing their engagement on Instagram, Vanessa Bryant was one of the first to congratulate the pair, writing "Woooohoooooo!!! Yay!!!! Congratulations!!!!!❤️" on her post.
Ionescu was a mentee of her husband, the late NBA star, Kobe Bryant, and has become close with Vanessa and their daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
Vanessa also shared her own Instagram post to celebrate. “Missed your call at 12:14a.m. this morning and called you right back when I saw this pic @sabrina_i !!!!!” she wrote along with a photo of Ionescu on FaceTime holding up her hand to show off her engagement ring. “Soooooo happy for you and Hroniss!!! Such a good wake up call! Yay!!!! 💍 💒 💕”
The Bryant family has frequently been seen at Ionescu’s games and spending time with the triple-double queen away from the court. She’s done everything from dance with the sisters on TikTok to go on vacation with their family.
In October 2021, Ionescu posted a carousel of one such vacation on Instagram. “Flashback Friday… swipe to see my reaction😂😂” she wrote alongside a series of photos of her and Grasu at Disneyland with the Bryant’s. “No I don’t like rollercoasters, and yes I was pressured… ❤️” she added, tagging Vanessa and Natalia.
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Read the original article on People.