Just two weeks after senior men’s basketball player Anthony Gill hung up his Virginia uniform, he will be lacing up a new pair of Jordans. This time, though, they’re for his April 8 wedding.
Gill, 23, met his fiancée, Jenna Jamil, 24, in the hallway of Charlotte Christian High School almost eight years ago.
“She actually came up to me because her sister wanted to know who I was,” Gill says, “but then she kind of caught my eye so I just started talking to her from there.”
Jamil remembers Gill Facebook messaging her for the first time after their encounter and sparking their relationship, but the two recall their first date slightly differently. While Jamil says they went to a nearby French restaurant, followed by a movie, Gill has a different recollection.
“We went on a date with her mom to this Italian restaurant,” Gill says, laughing.
Whether or not Jamil’s mom chaperoned their first date, family has always been important to the couple. In fact, Gill planned his proposal six months in advance to ensure that all of Jamil’s family would be present. He popped the question while the couple was horseback riding in the Dominican Republic.
“I was already nervous to be on the horse in the first place and then he asked me to get off to take a picture and I didn’t want to get off the horse because at that point I had gotten comfortable there,” Jamil says. “But then my sister convinced me to go take a picture, and when I stood next to him he stuck out his arm and got down on one knee.”
The wedding, which will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, more than a month before UVA’s graduation, was planned primarily by Jamil, who graduated from High Point University in 2014. Gill couldn’t be more grateful that Jamil did most of the planning.
“I think it’s stressful enough just being a college athlete,” Gill says, “and focusing on school and basketball and family and all of that. Planning a wedding on top of that just puts it over the top. But you know, it’s fun because you’re planning the rest of your life and that’s what takes all of the stress off of it.”
The two chose April 8 because the NCAA championship, in which the Cavaliers fell in the Elite 8, would be over by then. Gill says he wanted to start their life together as soon as basketball season ended.
He won’t be leaving basketball behind, though. Teammates Malcolm Brogdon, London Perrantes, Darius Thompson and Devon Hall are all groomsmen, and the whole basketball team is invited to Gill’s wedding.
And while Gill will be standing at the altar in a new pair of white Jordans, his fiancée will walk down the aisle in Nike Roshes.
“I’ve always been kind of into the athletic side of things and we’re both kind of shoe freaks,” Jamil says, “so it’s more of ‘me’ in the wedding—I’m adding my kind of touch to things.”
Jamil says her tennis shoes probably won’t be visible under her dress. So far she has her something old and something new, but hasn’t come up with her borrowed and blue.
“I was thinking of wearing light blue socks with my tennis shoes,” Jamil laughs, citing another reason to ditch the heels.
As for the future, Gill’s answer is simple: “It all depends on what happens with basketball.”
Wedding game plan
Number of bridesmaids: 12
Number of groomsmen: 12
Number of UVA basketball players in the wedding party: 5
Number of guests: 300
Years dating: 7-and-a-half
First dance song: “Here and Now” by Luther Vandross
Engagement ring: Andrew Minton Jewelers
Honeymoon: Short trip to New York City after the wedding; official honeymoon will be planned for a later date