USA Basketball Did Nneka Ogwumike So Dirty

Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images


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.

(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.

Other notable figures around the league also weighed in.

Shameless Plug Alert:

Shameless Self-Plug Alert: I’ve started an Instagram news Series called The Friday 5 at 5, detailing the five best stories of the week with dirt poor graphics. New installments release every Friday at 5. Below was this past Friday’s. Give it a like and I’ll buy you a Heineken.

BroBible Newsletter - The best sports and culture news directly to your inbox

* indicates required