Nneka Ogwumike

Nneka Ogwumike
No. 30 Los Angeles Sparks
Position Power forward
League WNBA
Personal information
Born (1990-07-02) July 2, 1990
Tomball, Texas
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school Cypress-Fairbanks
(Cypress, Texas)
College Stanford (2008–2012)
WNBA draft 2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Sparks
Playing career 2012–present
Career history
2012–present Los Angeles Sparks
2012–2013 CCC Polkowice
2014–present Dynamo Kursk
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com

Nnemkadi "Nneka" Ogwumike (born July 2, 1990) is an American basketball player of Nigerian descent for the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), after being drafted No. 1 overall in the 2012 WNBA Draft. Soon after being drafted, Ogwumike signed an endorsement deal with Nike.[1] She is the older sister of Chiney Ogwumike, who also plays in the Women's National Basketball Association. Ogwumike was named WNBA MVP for 2016.[2]

She also plays for Dynamo Kursk of Russia [3][4] Her name "Nneka" means "Mother is Supreme" in Igbo.[5] She is 6'2" and plays power forward. She attended Cypress-Fairbanks High School in Cypress, Texas and led them to a 5A State Championship in her senior season.[6] While at Stanford University she helped the Cardinal reach the Final Four four times. As of 2016, Ogwumike was elected President of the WNBA Players Association/America.[7]

High school

Ogwumike was named a WBCA All-American. She participated in the 2008 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored 17 points, grabbed 6 rebounds,[8] and earned MVP honors for the White team.[9] She averaged 16.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.4 steals and 0.8 blocks per game during the 2007-08 season at Cy-Fair High School.


Ogwumike at Stanford

Ogwumike chose Stanford over Baylor, Duke, Connecticut, Tennessee and Notre Dame.[10] She was a member of USA Under 18 Team that won gold in Argentina on July 23–27, 2008. Nneka tallied 20 points and 15 rebounds in the championship game of the Under-18 FIBA Americas. She led team USA to a 5-0 record while leading the team in scoring and rebounding. She was named MVP of this tournament in Argentina.

Nneka had also played with her sister, Chiney Ogwumike in Stanford.[11]

On January 23, 2010, Ogwumike broke the Cardinal record for rebounds in a game with 23 to go along with 30 points in a 100-80 win at Oregon.[12]

On December 20, 2011, Ogwumike scored a career-high 42 points on 19 for 27 shooting while also grabbing 17 rebounds in a 97-80 win over the sixth-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols.[13]

On January 7, 2012, Ogwumike surpassed both the 2,000 point and the 1,000 rebound thresholds for her career with a 33-point, 16 rebound performance against Oregon State.[14]

Ogwumike left the Stanford Cardinal as the second all-time leading scorer for the women's basketball program behind only Candice Wiggins.[12]

College statistics

2008–09 Stanford 38 14 21.0 .629 .000 .702 6.1 1.0 0.4 0.3 10.6
2009–10 Stanford 38 38 30.4 .598 .000 .761 9.9 1.4 0.9 0.5 18.5
2010–11 Stanford 33 33 28.8 .586 .222 .757 7.6 1.2 0.9 0.6 17.5
2011–12 Stanford 36 36 30.0 .547 .235 .830 10.2 1.8 1.4 1.1 22.5


USA Basketball

Ogwumike was a member of the USA Women's U18 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event was held in July 2008, when the USA team defeated host Argentina to win the championship.[16] Ogwumike helped the team win all five games, starting all five games and leading all scorers with 12.6 points per game. She was also the leading rebounder with 8 per game. Ogwumike recorded 15 rebounds in the final game against Argentina, an U18 record.[17]

Ogwumike continued on to the USA Women's U19 team which represented the USA in the 2009 U19 World's Championship, held in Bangkok, Thailand in July and August 2009.[18] Although the USA team lost the opening game to Spain, they went on to win their next seven games to earn a rematch against Spain in the finals, and won the game 81–71 to earn the gold medal. Ogwumike started all nine games and was the team's leading scorer, with 13.6 points per game. She was the leading rebounder with almost ten per game, and was named to the all-tournament team.[19]

Ogwumike played on the team presenting the USA at the 2011 World University Games held in Shenzhen, China, along with her sister, Chiney Ogwumike . The team, coached by Bill Fennelly, won all six games to earn the gold medal. Ogwumike averaged 13.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, both second place on the team behind Elena Delle Donne.[20]

Ogwumike had also played for team USA at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, helping team USA beat Spain 77–64 in the gold medal game.

WNBA career

Ogwumike during the 2016 WNBA Finals

On April 16, 2012, the Los Angeles Sparks picked Ogwumike first overall in the 2012 WNBA Draft. She became the second player from Cypress-Fairbanks High School to be drafted No. 1 overall into the WNBA behind Lindsey Harding in 2007.

On July 12, 2012, Ogwumike set a career-high in rebounds with 20 to go along with 22 points in a 77-74 win over the eventual WNBA champion Indiana Fever. On September 13, 2012, she scored a career high 30 points on 10 of 15 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds in an 86-77 win over the Chicago Sky. In the regular season finale on September 20, 2012, Ogwumike matched her teammate Candace Parker for team highs in both points and rebounds with each player earning 22 and 11, respectively, in a 92-76 win over the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx. Ogwumike was 10 for 13 from the field.[21]

Ogwumike was named WNBA Rookie of the Month four out of five times in her rookie season.[22] On October 7, 2012, Ogwumike was awarded as the 2012 WNBA Rookie of the Year. It marked the fifth consecutive year that the award had been won by the first overall draft pick.[23]

During the 2014 season, Ogwumike averaged 15.8 ppg and was voted as a WNBA All-star for the second time in her career along with her sister Chiney Ogwumike, becoming the first pair of sisters to be selected into a WNBA All-Star game.[24]

In 2016, Ogwumike re-signed with the Sparks once her rookie contract expired.[25] During the season, Ogwumike was named AP WNBA Player of the Year, while finishing third in the league in scoring (19.7 ppg), third in the league in rebounding (9.1 rpg) and first in field goal percentage (.665).[26] Her season performance would also help her earn the 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player Award. During the season, Ogwumike had set a WNBA record for most consecutive field goals made (23 consecutive field goals over three games) and set a new WNBA single-game record for most field-goal attempts without a miss in which she scored 32 points on 12 of 12 field goal shooting in a 97-73 win over the Dallas Wings.[27] In addition, she set the basketball record for highest field goal percentage at 73.7%. No other player in basketball history has been that high. With a supporting cast of Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver, the Sparks were a championship contender in the league with a 26-8 record. With the WNBA's new playoff format in effect, the Sparks were the number 2 seed in the league with a double-bye to the semi-finals (the last round before the WNBA Finals) facing the Chicago Sky. The Sparks defeated the Sky 3-1 in the series, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2003. In the WNBA Finals, it was the second time in league history were two teams from the same conference faced each other in the Finals due to the new playoff format. Against the championship-defending Minnesota Lynx, the Sparks won the championship in a hard-fought five-game series, winning their first championship since 2002. Ogwumike won her first career WNBA championship. In game five of the series, Ogwumike had 12 points along with 12 rebounds and scored a game-winning shot after grabbing an offensive rebound to put the Sparks up 77-76 with 3 seconds left in the game.[28] Ogwumike became one of seven players in WNBA history to win both the regular season MVP award and a championship in the same season.[29]

WNBA statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high League leader

Regular season


Overseas career

In the 2012-13 off-season, Ogwumike played in Poland for CCC Polkowice and won a championship with the team[30] Since 2014, Ogwumike has played three off-seasons in Russia for Dynamo Kursk.[31]

Awards and honors


  2. Mandell, Nina (September 27, 2016). "Nneka Ogwumike named WNBA MVP". USA Today. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  3. "Nnemkadi Ogwumike goes No. 1 to Los Angeles Sparks in WNBA draft - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  4. "EuroLeague Women - FIBA.com". Fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  5. "Ifeoma". Online Nigeria:Nigerian Names and meanings. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  6. "WNBA players turn to Nneka Ogwumike as players' union president". Espn.com. 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  7. "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014.
  8. 1 2 "WBCA High School All-America Game Team MVP's". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014.
  9. "Scout.com: Nneka Ogwumike Profile". Girlshoops.scout.com. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  10. "Chiney Ogwumike 2010 High School Girls' Basketball Profile - ESPNHS". Insider.espn.go.com. 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  11. 1 2 "The Top 10 Games of Nneka Ogwumike's Stanford Career - Rule of Tree". Rule of Tree. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  12. "Tennessee Lady Volunteers vs. Stanford Cardinal - Box Score - December 20, 2011 - ESPN". ESPNW. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  13. "Nnemkadi Ogwumike Hits Two Milestones in 67-60 Victory over Oregon State". Stanford athletics. 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  14. "Client page". 4front Sports. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  15. "USA Women's U18 National Team Rolls Through FIBA Americas Championship Undefeated With 81-37 Victory Over Host Argentina". USA Basketball. July 27, 2008. Retrieved 10 Oct 2013.
  16. "United States". USA Basketball. July 27, 2008. Retrieved 10 Oct 2013.
  17. "U19 World's Championship for women Thailand". FIBA. Retrieved 10 Oct 2013.
  18. "USA U19 Women Golden With 87-71 Victory Over Spain". USA Basketball. August 2, 2009. Retrieved 10 Oct 2013.
  19. "Twenty-Sixth World University Games -- 2011". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  20. "WNBA.com: Nneka Ogwumike Playefile". WNBA. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  21. "WNBA.com: Los Angeles' Nneka Ogwumik Named Rookie of the Month For September". WNBA. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  22. "WNBA -- Nneka Ogwumike named rookie of the year - ESPN". ESPNW. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  23. "Ogwumike sisters headline WNBA All-Star reserves". Usatoday.com. 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  24. "L.A. Sparks re-sign All-Star forward Nneka Ogwumike". Espn.com. 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  25. Associated Press (September 20, 2016). "Nneka Ogwumike Wins AP WNBA Player of the Year Award". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  26. "Sparks' Ogwumike sets WNBA record for accuracy". Bigstory.ap.org. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  27. "Nneka Ogwumike Beats The Buzzer To Win A Championship For L.A. - WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA". WNBA.com. 2016-10-20. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  28. "Nneka Ogwumike Makes History As MVP and Champ in Same Season - WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA". WNBA.com. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  29. "EuroLeague Women - FIBA.com". Fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  30. "WNBA Players Playing Overseas - WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA". WNBA.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  31. "Nnemkadi Ogwumike Profile - Stanford University's Official Athletic Site". Stanford athletics. Retrieved October 22, 2012.

External links

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