Kudos to Nigerian-American sisters Nneka, Chiney, and Erica Ogwumike for their selection to Nigeria’s Olympic basketball team. The trio are making history playing together on Nigeria’s team. Nneka and Chiney play for Los Angeles Sparks in California, while Erica plays for Minnesota Lynx based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“It’s something I know my family would be very proud of,” Nneka Ogwumike told ESPN Tuesday. “For it to happen would be such a blessing. To be able to do something big for a big part of our heritage would be fantastic. I’m hoping it will contribute to the growth we’re experiencing for Africa in basketball.”
Nneka, the 2016 WNBA MVP, and Chiney both are Stanford grads who were the WNBA’s No. 1 draft picks in 2012 and 2014, respectively, and now play for the Los Angeles Sparks. Erica Ogwumike played as a freshman for Pepperdine and then spent the rest of her college career at Rice. She was drafted into the WNBA in 2020 but did not make a roster.
Eldest sister Nneka, 31, is a longtime member of the U.S. senior national team, winning gold medals with the American squad in 2014 and 2018 at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. But she was left off the U.S. roster for the Tokyo Games, which was announced June 21, surprising many and causing some controversy. She is the only MVP in WNBA history who has not made an Olympic squad, but that could change with FIBA’s approval.
“It was more of a hurt than a shock, because I had experienced it before,” Nneka said of also not being named to the U.S. Olympic team in 2012 and 2016. “But there are decisions made in this life that you can’t control. I allowed myself to feel the hurt, but moving on, I decided, ‘I’m going to try to put matters in my own hands.'”
NBBF Organized Basketball Network – OBN
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