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Who Is Jameer Nelson’s Wife Imani Tillery? Full Bio

Imani Tillery is the wife of acclaimed NBA player Jameer Nelson. While her husband’s professional basketball career has kept him in the public spotlight, she has lived away from the limelight. As Nelson has many adoring fans, interest has emerged in his lifelong partner.

This article will explore her background, including her early years and education. Also, we will go over her romantic relationship with Nelson and her experiences becoming a mother.  

Imani Tillery And Jameer Nelson Were High School Sweethearts

The Nelson pair’s love story originates in their teenage years at Chester High School. They started their relationship when Tillery was 14, and Jameer was 15.

Even as a young student, Imani’s significant other played on the varsity team and was a letterman for Chester, showing immense talent on the court. A youthful romance developed between the duo as he focused intensely on honing his basketball abilities. 

Jameer Nelson
Jameer started dating his partner in his teenage years.

In 2000, with his then-girlfriend cheering him on, Nelson had a standout season. He led the Chester Clippers to win the PIAA AAAA State Championship, establishing himself as a high school basketball hero. 

The Lovebirds Got Married In 2008

After a long time together as high school lovers, the soulmates finally tied the knot on July 5, 2008, at the Orlando Ritz Carlton Hotel. Their beautiful ceremony was designed by Heather Snively of Weddings Unique.

Though they already had seven years of parenthood under their belts by their wedding day, they waited until after Imani graduated college and Jameer was settled into his NBA career to walk down the aisle. 

Tillery graduated from Temple University in 2005. That same year, her partner had proven himself to be the starting point guard for the Orlando Magic after being traded from the Denver NuggetsNow, 15 years into their marriage, Jameer and Imani continue to show their steadfast partnership. 

Imani’s beau often shares birthday dedications to his wife on his Instagram, proving he still cherishes her.

The Young Couple Became Parents In Their First Year In College

Imani and Jameer’s lives were transformed during what should have been a carefree freshman year. While Nelson was focused on basketball at Saint Joseph’s and Imani had started at Temple University, they discovered she was pregnant. 

Though initially worried about juggling education and parenthood, the teenage sweethearts maturely prepared for their new roles. In August 2001, as Imani went into labor, Jameer faced missing the birth while competing abroad in Japan. He ultimately finished the tournament before rushing back.

The couple soon welcomed baby Jameer Nelson Jr., affectionately nicknamed “Meer-Meer.” Despite their youth, the new parents adeptly balanced school, basketball, and caring for their son with help from family. Now years later, their son is recognized for following his famous father into basketball stardom. 

Jameer Nelson and Imani Tillery's son Jameer Nelson Jr.
Jameer Nelson with his young son Jameer Nelson Jr.

By his early 20s, Nelson Jr. had rapidly risen through college basketball. He was set to transfer to TCU in 2023 on a full scholarship. His parents have embraced their guiding roles and are now watching him continue their legacy with pride.

Imani Is A Mother Of Four

Jameer Nelson’s wife, Imani, has come a long way since unexpectedly becoming a mother as a teenager. She and her husband have expanded their family to include three more daughters, Jamia, Jayden, and Jayce.

Soon after their son’s birth in 2001, the Nelsons welcomed daughter Jamia in 2006, followed by Jayden around 2008 when Imani was in her mid-20s. The youngest one, Jayce, arrived in 2012 to complete their family of six. 

While raising four kids presented new challenges, the couple embraced the busy household routines. In a 2010 tweet, Imani’s beau recounts his young daughter soiling her diaper and trying to blame him for the mishap.

Jameer Nelson's tweet about his kid
Nelson’s tweet about his daughter

In 2019, when the Nelson couple sent off their son to George Washington University as a freshman college athlete, their daughters Jamia, Jayden, and Jayce, then aged 13, 11, and 7, respectively, enjoyed softball season together. 

The parents of four supported their girls’ shared love of the sport year-round. For Imani’s husband, an open schedule in 2018-19 finally allowed him to shift his focus from basketball to quality family time. 

He relished fitting into their lives, from attending games to bonding during day-to-day moments.

Imani and Jameer  Moved Back To The Philadelphia Area in 2014

After over a decade playing for the Orlando Magic, Nelson traded multiple times between 2014 and 2018 to teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, and Detroit Pistons

During this unstable career phase, he predicted his NBA future would involve frequently moving franchises. Thus, he suggested to his other half that the family relocate to their roots in the Philadelphia metro area for stability amidst the uncertainty. 

Imani Tillery and Jameer Nelson
Imani with his husband Jameer

Imani agreed, welcoming the chance to be nearer to extended family. So, while Jameer bounced around professional basketball teams, his wife transformed their new home base in Pennsylvania into a constant place of comfort. 

He also returned to his college roots, re-enrolling at Saint Joseph’s University to complete his bachelor’s degree. At his 2018 graduation ceremony, Imani glowed with pride for her husband coming full circle. 

Imani Tillery’s Early Life

Imani was born on December 13, 1983, to George Tillery and her mother in Chester, Pennsylvania, where she spent her childhood. Following in her father’s footsteps, she attended the same Chester High School as him. 

George had his basketball legacy as a former center on Chester High‘s team in his youth. 

After graduating from the school district, she mapped out plans to expand her education. She enrolled at Temple University in nearby Philadelphia.