Nine out of 10 Americans believe it’s impossible to conjure up a reason why Nneka Ogwumike shouldn’t be an Olympian that doesn’t require a consultation with Nurse Ratched.
Which camp do you belong in?
- WNBA MVP & Champion (2016)
- 6x All-Star
- 4x All-NBA
- 4x WNBA All-Defensive Team
- 2x FIBA World Cup Gold Medalist
- Euroleague Champion
- WNBPA President
- She’s the damn PRESIDENT OF THE WNBPA
- Number 1 Pick and Rookie of the Year (via Chiney)
- Owns and operates a bald eagle sanctuary
Okay, that last one is unverified, but given that resume, who would argue.
Nneka Ogwumike should be playing, coaching, and singing the national anthem during this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, but instead the Los Angeles Sparks forward will be home, staring at her reflection in her Purple Heart medal, wondering her country could betray her like this.
The 32-year-old was omitted from the roster of the upcoming Olympics beginning July 27 in Tokyo, becoming the only WNBA MVP to never make a U.S. Olympic basketball roster.
For the States. For the history. For the gold.
Our team to go for seven consecutive Olympic gold medals at @Tokyo2020
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) June 21, 2021
(Alternate Headline: U.S. Bans President From Tokyo)
A double gut punch for Ogwumike, who was not part of the team that won the gold medal in the 2016 Rio games, but later that year won she was named WNBA MVP and helped Sparks lead the WNBA Championship.
Tell me how.
Team USA head coach Dawn Staley weighed in on the decision, which somehow made it even more egregious.
Breaks my heart that Nneka isn’t on this team,” Staley said, per the San Jose Mercury News. “Having to make a decision today, if we had to make a decision a month from now, I’m sure she’d be healthy. This was one of the things she wanted to do.”
Ogwumike suffered a knee sprain on June 1, but her injury timeline would have easily made her available for the team’s first game in Tokyo on July 27. For perspective, Also Worthy Player Diana Taurasi suffered a FRACTURED STERUM less than a month ago and she was awarded a roster spot.
Nneka’s twin sister and fellow Los Angeles Sparks star laid out the injustice far better than I did.
✔️WNBA MVP & Champion in 2016 (last Olympic year)
✔️4x WNBA All-Defensive Team
✔️2x FIBA World Cup Gold Medalist
✔️ No. 1 pick & ROY
✔️oh, and she is one of few who went to every Team USA camp the last 5 years pic.twitter.com/iEzDduj4Kj
— Chiney Ogwumike (@chiney) June 21, 2021
— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) June 21, 2021
Other notable figures around the league also weighed in.
— Cindy Brunson (@CindyBrunsonAZ) June 21, 2021
I absolutely cannot believe that @nnekaogwumike was left off the USA Olympic roster. I'm shocked. And bummed.
— Ann Killion (@annkillion) June 21, 2021
Nneka has been preparing for this for years. She is ready. BEEN READY and Y'ALL STEADY PLAYING WITH HER. And it kills me cuz she'll never say nothing, she just takes it on the chin and keeps it moving but F all that! THIS IS SOME BUTTERY BS!!!!!
— Devereaux *casual fan* Peters (@MsPeters14) June 21, 2021
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