About two weeks ago, the talk was about Nneka Ogwumike missing out on the Olympics, but recent news proves impossible is nothing, as she (Nneka) alongside her two sisters have been listed in the D’Tigress provisional 15 man list as announced by the Nigerian Basketball Federation.
Nneka Ogwumike who is on the threshold of history is joined on the provisional squad by her sisters, Chiney of the Los Angeles Sparks and Erica, a Women’s National Basketball Association 2020 draftee. The sibling trio could make history all playing on the same team during the Olympic Games, should they make the 12-person team (Nneka and Chiney await FIBA approval having played for Team USA in the past). Together they bring eight All-Star appearances, six gold medals (FIBA, World University Games, U18), five NCAA Final Four appearances, two WNBA Rookie of the Year awards and over 10 NCAA conference honors.
Nneka Ogwumike has amassed quite a lot of medals for team USA, she’s been a regular on the team winning gold medals in two FIBA World Cups, Ogwumike’s stacked résumé also includes six All-Star appearances, four All-WNBA team nods, four All-WNBA All-Defensive Team appearances and one Euroleague Championship. She was a Team USA camp participant the last five years and was Team USA’s leading scorer last year. Ogwumike is also the WNBA players association president.
Others are, Ezinne Kalu (Landerneau BB) Atonye Nyingifa (Porta XI Ensino) Promise Amukamara (Charnay BB) and team captain Adaora Elonu.
Dunk queen Pallas Kunayi-Akpannah, is on the verge of making her debut in the Olympics with the National team. She plays for Italian Serie A side Pallacanestro Vigarano, will join up with Ifunanya Ibekwe and Louisville point guard, Elizabeth Balogun.
Amy Okonkwo’s dream of playing for Nigeria in Tokyo may eventually come true after her inclusion in the list alongside Oderah Chidom who narrowly missed the 2018 World Cup in Spain.
A long-standing member of the Atlanta Dream franchise in the WNBA, Elizabeth Williams, will also be on the plane to Tokyo alongside Victoria Macaulay and ageless Aisha Balarabe who has continued to turn back the hands of time as the only member of the squad who has ever been to the Olympics (in 2004).
D’Tigress and Team USA’s first matchup will be Tuesday, July 27 in Group B of the preliminary round.
Head coach Otis Hughley Jr.’s team submission comes two weeks after Nneka Ogwumike’s absence on Team USA’s roster left fans and WNBA players stunned.