Category Archives: Chiney Ogwumike

Ogwumike Sisters Bond To Help Education Of Nigerian Girls

by Categorized: Chiney Ogwumike, Connecticut Sun Date:

Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike, the Stanford sisters who became first overall picks in the WNBA draft, are launching a fundraising competition open to middle and high school basketball teams to raise money to support UNICEF programs focusing on girls’ education and empowerment.

The goal is to give one million girls in Nigeria, the heritage of the Ogwumikes, access to quality schooling by providing scholarships for female teachers and establishing safe places for study,

The competition will rewards teams that sign up the most donors. The top prize is a private basketball clinic with the sisters.

Other prizes include autographed jerseys, pictures and the chance to interact with them via Google Hangouts.

To join the Ogwumike’s challenge:

Ogwumike Is WNBA’s Rookie Of The Month

by Categorized: Chiney Ogwumike, Connecticut Sun Date:

The play of rookie Chiney Ogwumike, the first overall pick in the 2014 draft, has been a major bright spot during the first seven games of the WNBA season for the Connecticut Sun.
And on Wednesday, she was named the league’s rookie of the month of May.

Ogwumike led all rookies in points (17.2 ppg), rebounds (9.2 rpg), blocked shots (1.8 bpg), and minutes (32.2 mpg).
Overall, she led the league in total offensive rebounds (24) and was in the top ten in points, rebounds, and minutes played, while ranking fourth in blocks.
She registered a double-double with career highs in points (25) and steals (four) with 10 rebounds and three blocks in a 90-87 loss to the defending champion Minnesota Lynx on May 18. She also had a career-best 15 rebounds in a 79-65 loss to the Indiana Fever on May 29.

Ogwumike is currently tied with two others for the league lead in double-doubles (four) and has posted double digits in scoring in each of the Sun’s seven games.

Chiney Ogwumike Says UConn’s “Lou” A Hybrid Of Her Sisters

by Categorized: Chiney Ogwumike, Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn women's basketball Date:

Chiney Ogwumike, the first overall selection in the WNBA draft by the Connecticut Sun, is very familiar with Katie Lou Samuelson, California’s reigning Gatorade high school player of the year who announced this week she will play for UConn beginning in 2015-16.
That’s because Ogwumike said Katie Lou was around a lot since her two sisters, Bonnie and Karlie, were members of Stanford’s Final Four team last season.
“Having the chance to play with Bonnie and Karlie, I have been able to see what their games are like,” Ogwumike said Friday. “Lou is a mix of them. She can shoot the ball and is very athletic.
“Bonnie is more of a pure shooter. Karlie is a little more athletic and can do more things off the bounce. But all of the Samuelson girls can really shoot. I would call her [Katie Lou] a hybrid.”

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Chiney Ogwumike Wins Wooden

by Categorized: Chiney Ogwumike, Connecticut Sun, Stanford women's basketball, WNBA Date:

Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford, expected to be the first overall selection in Monday’s WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun, has won the Wooden Award as college basketball’s female athlete of the year.

She received the award from Wooden’s grandson, Craig Impelman, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Her coach, Tara VanDerveer, and her sister, Nneka Ogwumike of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, were on hand. Nneka was a two-time finalist for the Wooden Award.

Chiney led the Cardinal to the Final Four, where they lost to UConn the semifinals. She was a two-time Pac-12 player of the year and three-time league defensive player of the year. Ogwumike averaged 26.5 points and 12.1 rebounds this season and ended her career as the league’s career scoring leader with 2,722 points.

Ogwumike carries a 3.6 grade-point average in international relations, a component of the award that was important to Wooden.

Ogwumike received 774 points in nationwide voting. Odyssey Sims of Baylor finished second with 761. Breanna Stewart was third at 732. Kayla McBride of Notre Dame finished fourth at 562 and Alyssa Thomas of Maryland was fifth at 509.


Will The Sun Shine On Chiney Ogwumike? Donovan Says “Not So Fast”

by Categorized: 2014 WNBA Draft, Anne Donovan, Chiney Ogwumike, Connecticut Sun, WNBA Date:

After finishing in last place overall in the WNBA last season, with a roster depleted with injuries, the Connecticut Sun was faced with a conundrum unlike anything it had seen in many years.
The Sun knew they had to change the look of a team whose smile had turned upside down. And change has come frequently during a offseason delayed for months by the negotiation of the league’s new collective bargaining agreement.
But on Monday, the Sun roster will change even more dramatically when it makes the first pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft at the Mohegan Sun Arena. They also hold the 11th pick, acquired from the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for the talented, but disinterested, Sandrine Gruda, the star French center, who had not played in Connecticut for two years.
“[Gruda] was clear she did not want to come to Connecticut,” Sun coach Anne Donovan said. “We felt this was our opportunity to get some trade value from her.
And with the first pick, it is expected the Sun will select Stanford’s dynamic, personable All-American Chiney Ogwumike, although Dovonan, perhaps on orders from the league, perhaps to heighten the drama, was decidedly coy about the team’s intentions.
“Odyssey Sims [the Baylor guard] is quite the player,” Donovan said.  Everybody who thinks that it’s a foregone conclusion that Chiney Ogwumike is going to be here with us, well, we’d love to have Chiney Ogwumike and  we’d love to have Odyssey.  It just depends on guard or post, truthfully.”
Truthfully, the Sun need Ogwumike more than Sims. They have no classic power forward to take pressure of Tina Charles, who despite dominating again in rebounding did not have a stellar season following her MVP in 2013.
Ogwumike, the Pac-12 player of the year and a relentless rebounder, seems to snap perfectly into that place.
“She’s very coachable.  She’s shown great improvement every year at Stanford,” Donovan said. “She played internationally for USA.  She’s won gold medals with our national team.  She’s done all the right things to continue to grow her game.  She’s shown a hunger to get better as she does it.”
Although she was raised in Houston, and has a decidedly free-spirited west coach vibe, Ogwumike said she would welcome being selected by Connecticut.
“You know, I don’t like jumping the gun or anything, but you know what, one thing I know about Connecticut is that they’re huge women’s basketball fans,” Ogwumike said at last week’s Final Four in Nashville. “I’m a people person. I think that organization [the Sun] is great. The players on the team are great. The fans; I feel like a place like that, I would thrive. … If it [the draft pick] happens to be in Connecticut, I’ll be a happy girl.”

The idea that Asjha Jones would reclaim her power forward spot, after taking last year off, was dashed when she injured her Achilles in Europe. Her replacement, Mistie Bass, signed as a free agent with Phoenix. And Kelsey Griffin is more of combo forward than classic power post.
“Chiney is  a fantastic player and I think would be a great grab for Connecticut because I think they need that help in the postgame, especially with not having Asjha Jones coming back,” said Carolyn Peck, ESPN’s draft analyst. “She fits the speed, is a post that you need in the WNBA.  She brings great rebounding inside for Connecticut.  I think she would be a great fit.
“Now, for me, you also would have to consider Odyssey Sims because I think that Odyssey is a point guard, the best point guard in the college game, and I think she is so ready.  I think that Coach Donovan would have to consider do you pass up on that.”
But the Sun has already made changes at guard, trading Kara Lawson to Washington in a three-team deal with Atlanta that brought Alex Bentley to the Sun. And they reached back to re-sign Katie Douglas, a lynchpin of two Sun conference champions, who has tortured them for years in Indiana.
“I think, all in all, for what Connecticut needs, I think Chiney would surely suit the Sun,” Peck said.
To help bolster the post, the Sun also offered free-agent deals to Kelley Cain, a 6-6 center who played collegiately at Tennessee, and 6-2 Keisha Hampton, the former DePaul star.
What’s certain is the the Tulsa Shock, who choose second, will take the player the Sun passes on.
“We’re going to do the opposite of what [the Sun] does,” Shock coach Fred Williams said. “Connecticut has the first call on that.  But either player on that end is a good find and good pick.”
San Antonio seems interested in UConn’s Stefanie Dolson with the third pick, leaving Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride, Alyssa Thomas of Maryland and Bria Hartley for the New York Liberty and Fever to choose from at 4 and 5.
“I don’t think we have an Elena Delle Donne or Brittney Griner in this class, who are game changers.  But we have a lot of impact players,” ESPN’s LaChina Robinson said. “You could look across the board, especially at the top five, some of the players we’ve talked about all season; Ogwumike, Sims, McBride and Thomas.  They’re impact players.
“You may not have big stars, but it’s definitely not a letdown at all [from last year] because these are players the fans have become familiar with over time.  I think they will be watching to see how they perform at the next level.  I think there’s tremendous depth in this class.”

WNBA Draft Lottery To Be Dec. 10

by Categorized: 2014 WNBA Draft, Chiney Ogwumike, Connecticut Sun, WNBA Date:


 The Connecticut Sun, who finished with the worst record in the WNBA last season, will see how much their misery was worth on Dec. 10 when the Draft Lottery is held in Secaucus, N.J., at the interesting time of 4:30 p.m

It will be televised live on ESPN during SportsCenter.

The Sun (10-24) have the best odds to receive the first pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft at 44.2 percent.

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Chiney And Bria Are Friends For Life

by Categorized: Bria Hartley, Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

Stanford junior Chiney Ogwumike and UConn junior Bria Hartley were teammates this summer on the USA Basketball 3×3 team that won gold at the FIBA World Championship in Greece.

But they were friends long before.

“Bria Hartley is one of my closest friends in life,” Ogwumike said. “We met in each other in AAU circuit. We were rivals, but friendly rivals. We talked about who was recruiting us, like girls tend to do. We discussed even playing together. But we both had different interests.

“We had so much fun playing this summer with Skylar Diggins and Ann Strother [on the 3x3 team]. It was a great experience that neither of us saw coming. Our friendship is what allowed us to pursue it together.

“We had this term we used about our friendly rivalry ‘”Frienemies” is what we called each other. And that’s the way it will be [Saturday].”