The Vice President of the WNBA Players Association, Chinenye “Chiney” Ogwumike, has advised aspiring basketball players in Nigeria to focus on education as they climb the ladder to become professional athletes.
The Nigerian-American basketball star who was recently on a working visit to Nigeria while meeting with students, upcoming and Premier Women Basketball League players in Lagos 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 working visit, 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 the younger sister, Nneka (already committed to the USA National Basketball Team) change from gymnastics to basketball which has brought them fame and glory.
Ogwumike who is one of the fastest rising basketball analysts in the world with ESPN paid a visit to Avi-Cena International School in Ikeja and Queens College, Yaba, where she donated basketball kits and commissioned a renovated basketball court as part of her give-back programs.
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.
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.