Nneka Ogwumike was unable to lead the Stanford Cardinal to a National Championship, but she’ll get a chance to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to a WNBA crown.
The Sparks made Ogwumike the top overall pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft on Monday. She is the first Cardinal to go No. 1.
Ogwumike joins former No. 1 pick Candace Parker in Los Angeles, forming quite the front line.
The attention seems to have taken Ogwumike by surprise:
“Being in the WNBA became a reality for me maybe last summer. Because I wasn’t sure if I was too invested in playing professionally. Now that I see the opportunity that it brings, it’s more than I could ask for.”
Ogwumike earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors in 2008-09, and captured the Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in 2009-10. Stanford reached the Final Four in all four of Ogwumike’s seasons on The Farm.
Despite all her collegiate accomplishments, Ogwumike remains humble:
“I just want to come in and contribute.”
Sparks coach Carol Ross is excited about adding a talented player like Ogwumike to the roster.
“We’re getting a great team player. She will work hard for her teammates. She is relentless on the defense. A player like Nneka fits in anywhere.”