The surname Ogwumike has become synonymous with basketball in the USA, just as the name Williams has become synonymous with tennis. While the former has produced two popular names in the world of basketball – Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike – the latter has also produced two amazing names in the world of tennis – Serena Williams and Venus Williams.
Like her sister Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike has taken her love of basketball to a professional level and currently plays for the Connecticut Sun of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She joined the Sun in 2014 after the team selected her in the 2014 WNBA draft. Since her professional debut, Chiney won the WNBA Rookie of the Year award that same year. Below are all the other exciting facts you should know about this sensational and talented player.
Chiney, as she is popularly known, was born on 21 March 1992 as Chinenye Ogwumike, whose parents are of Nigerian descent. Like her sister, she started playing basketball in her high school days at Cypress Fairbanks High School in Cypress, Texas.
She participated in the 2010 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she received the MVP honors for the white team. After high school, like her big sister, the Chinese girl chose Stanford instead of Notre Dame and Connecticut.
During her college career, she played in three final fours, and on January 3, 2014, she held the record for the most rebounds in the history of Stanford Women’s Basketball and the Pac-12 Conference, a record now held by Kelsey Plum from Washington.
Chiney Ogwumike was the first to be drafted by the Connecticut Sun in the 2014 WNBA draft and has remained with them ever since. With an average record of 15.5 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game, she did pretty well in her rookie season and was soon named a WNBA All-Star along with her big sister Nneka Ogwumike – breaking records as the first pair of sisters to be selected for a WNBA All-Star game.
She also won the 2014 WNBA Rookie of the Year Award and signed a sponsorship deal with Nike shortly after she was drafted by the Connecticut Sun.
Chiney was put on the bench for the entire 2015 season after she injured her right knee long before the season began. She returned for the 2016 season and played a total of 33 games with an average of 12.6 points per game.
In December 2016, however, Chiney Ogwumike had to undergo surgery after injuring her Achilles tendon during the WNBA off-season at a game abroad. As a result of the surgery, she missed the 2017 WNBA season, and in 2016 she was elected Vice President of the WNBA Players Association.
The Sun suspended her for the entire 2017 season to free up a player’s list position due to her injury. In the same year, April 2017 to be exact, she also signed an extension of her contract with the team. In May 2018, Ogwumike returned to the Sun and played her first WNBA game in two years. After 17 minutes of play, she scored 9 points in the starting lineup with a 101-65 victory over the Las Vegas Aces.
Ogwumike has also played with some clubs overseas. She was in Europe in the 2014-15 European season and played for the Italian Familia Schio. In 2016 she signed with Henan Yichuan of the WCBA for the 2016-17 season in China. She also played with the USA U18 basketball team.
Her Deal With ESPN
In May 2018, Chiney signed a multi-year contract with ESPN to become a full-time sports analyst. While recovering from her first injury in 2016 to keep herself busy, Chiney contacted the station and filled in for His and Hers, which then featured Michael Smith and Jemele Hill.
When she injured herself again a year later, she contacted the station for the second time, allowing her to act as an analyst for about a dozen college basketball games played by women in the WNBA. When ESPN launched its SportsCenter Africa in 2017, the Nigerian-American star seemed perfectly suited to host the show.
Chiney Ogwumike’s Family and Boyfriend
Chiney is one of four daughters of Nigerian parents, Ify and Peter Ogwumike. Her mother is a long-time school administrator, while her father is a technical advisor who divides his time between Nigeria and Houston.
Her older sister Nneka is also a basketball player with the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association, while her two younger sisters are Chisom and Erinma.
Like her older sister, Chiney is also quite secretive about her personal life and relationships. There is no information about her past or present relationships, she is probably more focused on her career right now.
Height And Other Measurements
The pretty Nigerian-American player stands at a height of 6 feet 3 inches and weighs 79 kg. Her other body measurements are unknown. She has black hair and dark brown eyes.