WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike will seemingly be making an appearance at the Tokyo Games after all, following her omission from Team USA’s roster. Ogwumike has been listed on the 15-woman provisional squad for Nigeria’s national team (D’Tigress), the Nigerian Basketball Federation announced on Tuesday.
Ogwumike is joined on the provisional squad by her sisters, Chiney of the Los Angeles Sparks and Erica, a WNBA 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, per ESPN). 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.
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.
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A regular on Team USA – 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.
The final roster of 12 members of D’Tigress is expected to be announced soon.