I worked hard to become WNBA’s Most Valuable Player -Nneka Ogwumike

Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike was named the Women’s National Basketball Association WNBA Most Valuable Player recently. A Nigerian lady with lofty dreams led the Los Angeles Sparks to victory on Tuesday. A former Cy-Fair High School and Stanford University standout, she received 31 of 39 first place votes.

Nneka Ogwumike has said she had always wanted to become the Most Valuable Player of the WNBA and put a lot of work towards achieving the goal.

The Sparks went 26-8 this season and earned the No. 2 seed in the NBA playoffs. Ogwumike shot a league-best 66.5 percent from the field this season and set league records for consecutive field goals made (23) and most field goals in a game without a miss (12, against the Dallas Wings on June 11).

She also ranked third in the league in scoring (career-high 19.7 ppg) and rebounding (career-high 9.1 rpg) and recorded the second-most double-doubles (18).  Ogwumike added career highs in assists (3.1 apg) and blocks (1.2 bpg) to go with 1.3 steals in 33 games.

Nneka Ogwumike preparing for a free throw

Nneka Ogwumike preparing for a free throw

“As far as goals go, this honor has always been on a list I wrote down in the back of some journal years ago. Typically, when you have achievements in mind, you prepare yourself and set standards to take a step-by-step approach to reach the top. Looking back, however, my 2016 season didn’t feel quite like that”.

Nneka Ogwumike said: “Dreams don’t sprout overnight and triumph doesn’t grow from trees. My 2016 season is a reflection of years of being a student of the game, hours of grueling practice, memories, favorable and unfavorable; of great teammates and heartbreaking losses on the court.”

It’s the first MVP honour for the 6-foot-2 forward, who averaged a career-high 19.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.2 blocks this season, her fifth in the WNBA. She ranked third in the regular season in scoring and rebounding. It is also the first honour for Africa-born player in the world’s biggest basketball league.

The 26 year old forward received 31 of 39 first-place votes and 362 points from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. New York’s Tina Charles received the other eight first-place votes and finished second with 267 points, followed by Minnesota’s Maya Moore (197 points), Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne (119 points) and Ogwumike’s Sparks teammate Candace Parker (30 points).

Players were awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, five points for a third-place vote, three points for a fourth-place vote and one point for a fifth-place vote.

The 26 year old forward shot a league-leading 66.5 percent from the field (244-of-367), the second-highest mark in league history. She also shot 16-for-25 from beyond the arc this year after being 7-for-34 in her first four WNBA seasons combined. Ogwumike plays for her adopted country USA.


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1 Response

  1. queen says:

    You go girl. I love your determination. Keep making us proud.

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