(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Sparks maintain their resounding level of signing “key” players in the final stretch of Free Agency in the weeks leading up to the start of training camp and their annual Media Day event.
The latest and greatest news is that they have just re-signed Forward/Chiney Ogwumike to a new deal. Chiney, Nneka Ogwumike’s younger sister and both Stanford University grads, is extremely glad to be reunited with her former WNBA Coach, Curt Miller. They were both part of the Connecticut Sun in 2018 when Chiney was named to her second WNBA All-Star team.
Sparks Re-Sign Chiney Ogwumike
Reunites with Head Coach Curt Miller
LOS ANGELES (February 22, 2023) – The Los Angeles Sparks announced on 2/22, the re-signing of forward Chiney Ogwumike. The two-time WNBA All-Star enters her seventh season in the league and fourth with Los Angeles. Per team policy, the terms of the agreement were not released.
“Chiney is a key returning veteran for the Sparks,” said Sparks CAO & GM Karen Bryant. “We are grateful to have her continued leadership and frontcourt presence on our team.
The Sparks first acquired the Houston-native in a 2019 preseason trade with the Sun in exchange for LA’s 2020 first-round pick. She holds career averages of 11.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game in 160 total games with Connecticut and Los Angeles. During the 2022 season with the Sparks, she played in 26 games (seven starts), averaging 7.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 18.4 minutes per game.
“I am so happy to re-sign with the Sparks,” said Ogwumike. “The past two seasons here have been the hardest of my basketball career, but I am motivated and inspired for this season to mark a new chapter for the Sparks and me. Reuniting with Curt, the coach that helped me be an All-Star in 2018, who knows my fight and journey on the court, means the world to me. In a short amount of time, KB and Eric have truly become family, and I appreciate all that they are doing for the Sparks organization to be great. I don’t take for granted the opportunity to wear the purple and gold and will leave it all on the court this season.”
Ogwumike was selected first overall out of Stanford in the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun. She would go on to make her first All-Star appearance and win Rookie of the Year that season in one of the strongest rookie campaigns in league history as she averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
During her time in Connecticut, she played two seasons under Head Coach Curt Miller, averaging 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 64 games. During the 2018 season she shot a career-best 60.3% from the field, averaging 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds before going on to participate in her second career All-Star game.
“I am excited to be reunited with Chiney here in Los Angeles,” said Head Coach Curt Miller. “Chiney is a highly productive and efficient player who also fits the culture that we want to establish in the locker room. She plays with a great motor and will provide valued energy to our team. Her offensive efficiency and defensive versatility will help us on both ends of the floor.”
Ogwumike recently signed a contract extension with ESPN, serving as a co-host on NBA Today daily with Malika Andrews and a full-time analyst on NBA Countdown’s Wednesday show alongside Andrews, Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins.