Nneka Ogwumike is a Nigerian-American basketball player who won the WNBA Most Valuable Player in 2016 and has been playing for the Los Angeles Sparks’ for 6 years.
Nneka started playing basketball because she grew too tough for gymnastics and her mom wanted her and her three sisters to stay active.
For her, the process of becoming successful as a basketball player can be grueling.
In a chat with Uninterrupted, Nneka spoke about her career, family and her plans for the future.
Her sister, Chiney Ogwumike, who is also a basketball player, said Nneka set a good pace for them to follow as she was always breaking boundaries.
“She set the bar for all of us her sisters and we cannot but try to chase it.”
When Nneka is not playing for the WNBA, she’s playing abroad and this gives her only 11 free days to spend with her family and friends.
“We play overseas because it affords us another opportunity to make more money. It’s just a cycle of playing five months in the WNBA and then seven months overseas.
Between Russia and WNBA, I have eleven days. That is just how it is for us,” she explains, laughing.
However, it is sad that Nneka is not highly recognized as expected because the media is not doing enough in covering women basketball.
“She hasn’t gotten the credit she deserves and never probably will, unfortunately, because we need general media to cover sports in the WNBA more,” Magic Johnson, the owner of Nneka’s club, LA Sparks said.
Nneka recounts her experience as a female basketball player.
“I just remember people saying, you’re a girl basketball player’ and I’m like ‘no, I’m a basketball player.’ Girl or boy, we are doing the same thing and we want people to understand that with Serena Williams, I don’t think people say female tennis player and she’s one of the great tennis players ever to play.
I’m very grateful for what I have but at the same time, I want to be a trailblazer for those behind me. My driving motivation to be great is to share greatness. You can’t do it by yourself. This journey, as a professional in life, you have to be able to touch as many lives as you can.”
Nneka, between the US and Russia, won two championships and two MVP Awards last season.
She was also elected the President of the WNBA Player.
Watch the full feature below.