The Ogwumike sisters Nneka (Los Angeles Sparks), Chiney (Los Angeles Sparks) and Erica (Minnesota Lynx) join award winning South African music artist Sho Madjozi in the fifth episode of “NBA Africa Game Time”, coming out on NBA Africa YouTube channel this afternoon. The WNBA players speak about their Nigerian roots, recall Nneka Ogwumike’s MVP season and the Sparks winning the 2016 WNBA Finals, and chat about the transformative power of the game of basketball and creating more opportunities for young boys and girls in Africa.
Launched in 2019, “NBA Africa Game Time” is a digital basketball and lifestyle show for NBA fans in Africa. During the NBA season hiatus, “NBA Africa Game Time” is being produced virtually with the guests joining in from around the world.
Below are some of the highlights from the interview:
Erica Ogwumike on joining the Lynx and who she looks forward to playing with
“Being in Minnesota, they have a culture of winning, so all of them to be honest… I just feel I can learn a lot from all of them. They have a bunch of Hall of Fame coaches, Hall of Fame players. I am just looking to learn everything that I can.”
Chiney Ogwumike on their Nigerian roots
“By nature of being Nigerian and American, I always say that we have the best of both worlds. We have the Nigerian determination, but then we also have the American opportunity. Our parents let us capitalize on that by just saying ‘Hey, we see values that are good for young girls being in sports’, despite that [it] might not have been the same path that most African parents chose at the time.”
Nneka Ogwumike on the 2016 WNBA MVP Award and winning the WNBA Championship with the Sparks the same year
“To be honest, it’s an indescribable feeling, it’s an indescribable process. You reach a level that you’ve never experienced before and that’s when you realize, wow, I thought I had hit the pinnacle…. I truly don’t believe there ever is really a pinnacle. I think that if you ever feel as if you’ve mastered anything, you’re not living life correctly.”
“I am blessed to be able to have made a living playing basketball, but I think what’s biggest is us being able to make a difference playing basketball.”
Chiney on creating more youth development initiatives in Africa
“I think that the NBA, of all leagues, and the Basketball Africa League, especially under the leadership of Amadou [Gallo Fall], have done an excellent job in creating that infrastructure… They knew that basketball has so much potential to transform lives. Most of their initiatives aren’t just for men, or for boys, it’s for women too…. We are making strides, so I’m very optimistic.”