The first family of women’s basketball is the Ogwumike sisters. Actually, the women are four sisters, namely Nneka, Chiney, Olivia and Erica Ogwumike.
They have established their names in the United States women’s basketball arena. This can be attributed to their passion, hard work, and determination.
Let talk about each of them and their various achievements in the basketball world.
Nnemkadi Victoria Ogwumike, popularly known as ‘Nneka’, was born on July 2, 1990. She is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), after being drafted as the number one overall in the 2012 WNBA draft.
Her name ‘Nneka’ means “Mother is Supreme” in the Igbo language of Nigeria where her family hails from. She is 6’2″feet tall and plays power forward.
She attended Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas and led them to a 5A State Championship in her senior season. Then, she attended her tertiary education at Stanford University, where she helped the Cardinal reach the Final Four four times. She was elected President of the WNBA Players Association in 2016 and was re-elected to a new three-year term in 2019.
After being drafted, she signed a deal with Nike. She was named WNBA MVP for the 2016 WNBA season and won the WNBA Finals the same year. She was named to The W25 the league’s list of the top 25 players of its first 25 years, in 2021.
She was called a WBCA All-American. She participated in the 2008 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored 17 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and earned MVP honors for the White team. She also plays for Dynamo Kursk of Russia.
Chinenye Ogwumike, popularly known as ‘Chiney’, was born on March 21, 1992. She is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
In 2020, she became the first Black woman and the first WNBA player to host a national radio show for ESPN. She was one of the first and youngest commentators ever to be named an NBA analyst for the network covering the NBA, WNBA, and variety of sports, while till playing for the WNBA.
She graduated from Stanford University, where she majored in International relations. In fact, she chose Stanford over Connecticut and Notre Dame, joining her sister; Nneka. She played in three Final Fours and finished as the conference leader in scoring and rebounding as of January 3, 2014.
She finished her Stanford career in 2014 as the all-time career scoring leader for either sex in Pac-12 Conference history, a record that fell in 2016 to Kelsey Plum of Washington.
In 2016, she was elected Vice-President of the WNBA Players Association, and signed an endorsement deal with Adidas. In May 2018, Ogwumike signed a multi-year contract with ESPN to become a full-time basketball analyst.
Erica Erinma Ogwumike was born in Cypress, Texas on September 26, 1997. She is a Nigerian American basketball player. She played college basketball for the Rice Owls.
She started her college career with the Pepperdine Waves women’s basketball team. In her freshman season, she averaged 18.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game with Pepperdine Waves women. She transitioned to Rice University in 2016, where she couldn’t play the 2016-17 season for the Rice Owls women’s basketball team due to transfer rules.
Meanwhile, in July 2020, she announced her decision to play for the Nigeria women’s national basketball team in the Tokyo Olympics. Apart from athletics, she is also an aspiring doctor and is currently in medical school.
She was born in Cypress Texas. She attends Cypress Woods High School, Texas. She plays for the Pepperdine University and Rice University.
She graduated from Rice University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is currently pursuing for an MBA.
The sisters believe in supporting each other instead of competing among themselves, despite their trophies and achievements. Sometimes, Chiney’s team plays against Nneka’s, and Chiney claps for Nneka when she makes a free throw against them. They credit their togetherness to how they were raised.
The sisters have collaborated with the United States Fund for UNICEF to support Nigeria’s emergency fund for girls’ education and girls’ empowerment. As well as, the initiatives that protect and save the lives of children.