The Vice President of the WNBA Players Association Chinenye (Chiney) Ogwumike has advised aspiring basketball players in Nigeria to focus not just only on the game but to also focus heavily on education as they climb the ladder to becoming professional athletes.
The Nigerian-American basketball star that was recently on a working visit to Nigeria addressed up and coming players, and league players in Lagos. She said the need to have a successful career in basketball cannot be compared to having the minimum standard of education required by the society.
“Education is very important no matter how successful you become in life. Although, it may not be initially easy to combine sports and education, but with the right level of discipline, going to school while playing basketball is possible.”
Addressing women league players at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on the last day of her tour, the Los Angeles Sparks player advised players not to be scared of taking on new challenges and exploring unknown terrain.
She revealed that her father made her and her sister, Nneka (already committed to the USA National Basketball Team) change from gymnastics to basketball which has brought them fame and glory.
One of the fastest rising basketball analysts in the world with ESPN paid a visit to Avi-Cenna International School in Ikeja and Queen’s College, Yaba, where she donated basketball kits and commissioned a renovated basketball court as part of her give-back programmes. Chiney’s mother and aunt finished from the school based in the Yaba area of Lagos.
Ogwumike said that as young and aspiring sportsmen and women, there is more to basketball than having the regular skills set.
She also donated kits to aspiring basketball players who she met at the Teslim Balogun Stadium and Queen’s College.
At 27, Ogwumike who holds the record for the most rebounds in the history of Stanford Women’s Basketball and the Pac-12 Conference has not committed her International career to either USA or Nigeria with many still optimistic that she will don the green, white, green jersey of the D’Tigress.