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Ogwumike selected first overall by the LA Sparks
April 16, 2012By Austin Staton of VYPE MAGAZINE - West Houston
Updated: Monday, April 16, 2012 9:33 pm
When she graduated Cy-Fair in 2008, she was the face of the school. Now, she’s the face of a WNBA franchise.
With their first overall pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft, the Los Angeles Sparks selected Stanford senior Nneka Ogwumike Monday afternoon, making her the second Cy-Fair product to be taken as the top overall pick since 2007, and the first Stanford player to be taken first overall in the draft’s history.
“Today couldn't have been any more special,” Ogwumike told VYPE Magazine, who led Stanford to a 137-12 record during her career. “Not only was it draft day, but it was also my mother's birthday and I'm assuming that she had a good day too.”
As one of the inaugural franchises of the WNBA, the Sparks have won three conference titles while winning back-to-back WNBA Championships in 2001 and 2002 under the leadership of 6-foot-5 center Lisa Leslie. Last season, the Sparks finished with a 15-19 record but are just one year removed from a berth in the conference semifinals.
“Being drafted number one and being able to represent my family, Stanford, and, consequently, the Los Angeles Sparks is a dream come true,” added Ogwumike, who averaged 22.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season. “I am more than excited to celebrate this day.”
As a rookie, Ogwumike is expected to contribute immediately to the Sparks and will provide a nice balance in the lineup to the Sparks other standout and former Tennessee star, Candace Parker.
Ogwumike, the 2007-08 Gatorade National Player of the Year, was an athletic standout at Cy-Fair as she was a three-time letterwinner for the basketball and volleyball teams. As if that wasn’t enough, she also picked up a letter in track.
As the top-ranked prep recruit in the country coming out of high school, Ogwumike took her talents to Stanford and led the Cardinal to four-straight Final Four appearances while picking up All-American honors in her final three seasons.
During her illustrious Cardinal career, Ogwumike was a two-time conference player of the year and is just one of four Stanford players to accumulate both 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds during her career.
In the summer of 2011, the 6-foot-2 forward represented her country and won a gold medal with USA Basketball in the World University Games. On the squad, Ogwumike netted 13.2 points per game while bringing down 5.7 rebounds per contest.
Ogwumike, a psychology major, finished her Stanford career ranked in the top-five in nine individual categories including ranking first in career field goals made with 965.
With an electric personality and obvious physical skills on the court, Ogwumike’s career will be fun to watch in the upcoming years as she will undoubtedly become a role model for young student-athletes.