Sports

Ogwumike sisters are named to the WNBA all-star game

 

Former Stanford All-American basketball players Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike, who in April became only the second set of siblings ever selected with the top overall pick in an American professional sports draft, have made history again.

Chiney, the No. 1 overall pick by the Connecticut Sun this year, and Nneka, the No. 1 overall selection by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2012, have been chosen by the league's head coaches as reserves for Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014, the WNBA announced Tuesday.

With that, Chiney, who will be making her first All-Star appearance, and Nneka, who will be making her second, become the first pair of sisters ever selected to participate in the WNBA's All-Star event.

Chiney is making the most of her first season in the WNBA. After being the No. 1 pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft, she was the Rookie of the Month for May and June. She leads the Sun in scoring (15.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg) and is also tops among WNBA rookies in both categories. She has been held to single digits just once so far in her WNBA career, and had a streak of 15 consecutive double-figure scoring games to start the season.

"It means the world to me because, honestly, I didn't expect to come to the league and be able to feel like a confident player," Ogwumike said of the honor. "You expect rookie struggles, and I have struggled at times, but I have great teammates who lift me up, and I have an organization that gives me so much confidence. And to be there alongside my sister . . . I think it's just awesome and I feel blessed."

Said Connecticut head coach Anne Donovan: "Chiney has just had a stellar rookie season. I think this is a milestone for her. To be named Rookie of the Month twice, and now an All-Star, it speaks volumes for what she has been able to accomplish in her short career so far."

Nneka Ogwumike, meanwhile, is averaging 15.4 points and 7.7 rebounds and ranks among the top15 in the league in both categories.

"Being named an all-star the second year in a row is definitely an honor," Nneka said. "I'm ecstatic to be sharing this accolade again with my teammate Candace Parker and most especially, my sister."

The Ogwumike sisters faced each other for the first time this past Sunday in a regular-season game, now could face each other again as all-stars.

The all-star game will take place at US Airways Center in Phoenix on Saturday and will be nationally televised on ESPN, with tip-off at 12:30 p.m. (PT).

Nneka suffered a mild ankle sprain in the Sparks' 86-78 win over host Indiana, leaving the game in the second quarter. Chiney, meanwhile, had 14 points and 10 rebounds in Connecticut's 86-63 win at Seattle.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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