Before the 2015 Stanford Women’s Basketball Season starts, (or as C and R call it, the era after the Ogwumikes), we wanted to highlight some notable accomplishments of Stanford basketball alums. Find out what we are really talking about below the C and R’s StanfordWBBBlog Twitter Account.
October 15- Stanford Basketball Alums in the News
Before the 2015 Stanford Women’s Basketball Season starts, (or as C and R call it, the era after the Ogwumikes), we wanted to highlight some notable accomplishments of Stanford basketball alums. Well, as it so happens, we wanted to honor two of them, both with the last name Ogwumike.
Okay, not that we want to exclude anyone, but older sister Nneka and younger Chiney have been on a rocket ship of a ride. And it’s funny, because younger sister Chiney has always followed in Nneka’s footsteps.
Chiney followed her to Stanford, where the sisters were an unstoppable dynamic duo who had court ESP and always knew where the other was, or were rebounding each other’s misses. They also took Stanford to two Final Fours together, and in Nneka’s case, two before Chiney and Chiney got one more after Nneka graduated.
In Nneka’s senior year, she worked on the transition to the WNBA, working on an outside shot and playing away from the basket. She was the number one pick in the WNBA and won rookie of the year honors.
Chiney also followed that blueprint, working on scoring away from the basket (although her jump shot is a little flat and not all there). Her hard work rewarded her with the number one pick in the WNBA, the first sisters to accomplish that in the WNBA, and the second pair of siblings since Peyton and Eli Manning did it in the NFL. Oh, they also were the first sisters to play in the same WNBA All Star game. And they ended up guarding each other!
So it is no surprise that Chiney also won Rookie of the Year honors. C and R just want to point out that…well, that is so hard to do! She was just a few weeks out of Stanford when she reported to the Connecticut Sun in the wake pf Tina Charles demanding a trade (Ciney had to get special permission to miss a game to attend the Stanford graduation ceremony.) In just four short months she was selected for the All-Star game and kept up against the best in the world to win Rookie of the Year barely six months removed from college. That is so tremendous.
So Nneka didn’t take the time after the WNBA. In fact, both Nneka and Chiney were invited to the Team USA training camp to try out for the World Championship team. Alas, only Nneka was chosen (Chiney’s day will come), and she helped Team USA win the Gold Medal in the Worlds that was held in Turkey.
Not a bad few months for these two Stanford alums.
Looking forward to 2014-15 season and seeing who will make history.
July 18th- WNBA All-Star Sister Weekend
Back in April when Chiney Ogwumike was drafted number one by the Connecticut Sun, she and her sister, Nneka Ogwumike made history. They were the first pair of siblings in the WNBA to be drafted number one. Heck, let’s take that a step further to show how rare that is. The feat has only been accomplished one other time in any major sport, men’s or women’s, when Peyton and Eli Manning did it in football. And that is some great company!
So leave it to the intrepid Ogwumike sisters to make history again when they became the first pair of sisters to be chosen to participate in the WNBA All-Star game. Granted, both go in as reserves, but it is still a pretty cool feat. And not even Nneka can say she got the All-Star nod her rookie season, as Chiney has done. Nneka had to wait a year, when she went for the first time last year. This is her second nod.
The sisters also made personal history when they played against each other July 15th of this year. In the sisters' first WNBA meeting, Nneka scored 24 points and got the win, while Chiney contributed 18 points in the loss.
Why is that noteworthy, their first time playing against each other? The famous story around the Stanford campus is that the two did not play each other in practice. Well, they did in an early practice in Chiney’s freshmen year, when Nneka was the wise junior. Chiney elbowed Nneka, the story goes, and Nneka threatened revenge, so Chiney excused herself to stand by coach. And that’s when Stanford Women’s Basketball coach Tara VanDerveer said that’s it, you two will never be on opposite sides. And they weren’t. Whether on the court or off it. Each is the others biggest cheerleader.
So the all-star game, while sharing the pre-game stuff together, will mark the second time they have to play each other. The third time will be when Chiney’ Sun goes to LA in August.
While the All-Star game is fun to watch the best of the best, when the sisters play each other, it is so conflicting to C and R. Who to root for? Although we all know West side is the best side.
May 22nd- Looking Back at Stanford’s Season
Even though summer is just starting, C and R would be remiss if we did not have a recap of The Stanford Women’s Basketball 2013-14 season (more from the official Stanford site). And 2013 started out the year of “13.” Or say we say the year of Chiney Ogwumike. Chiney Ogwumike took the team on her back and propelled them to the Final Four, their sixth appearance in seven years. Unfortunately they had a date with UConn and lost in the semis, but it was a great ride.
Stanford’s overall record was 33-4. Notable wins included Tennessee (for the third straight season) and both times against Cal in a week. They won the Pac-12 regular-season title, for the 14th time in a row. They did lose in the semis of the Pac-12 tourney to eventual winner USC, thus earning them a number 2 seed in the NCAA tourney. You can read a year in review for the Pac-12.
Chiney Ogwumike had some help. A pleasant surprise was freshmen guard Lili Thompson. Her aggressiveness and confidence also rubbed off on junior guard Amber Orrrrange and she upped her game as well. Another pleasant surprise of the season was the return of fifth year veteran Mikalea Ruef. She has her best year and peaked during the NCAA regional finals, ultimately being named the MVP of the region over buddy Chiney.
And what can we say about Chiney? Well, a lot actually, so here goes:
She led Stanford to three Final Fours during four year career. Her senior season, she was unanimous All-American, named the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year, (the nation’s top academic honor and first from Stanford) was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Team for the second straight year annnnnnnddddddd….was awarded the John R. Wooden Award winner as the national player of the year, She became the first Stanford and Pac-12 women’s basketball player to claim the John R. Wooden Award.
As for the Pac-12 conference Awards, she leaves as one of the most decorated players in the history of the Pac-12. She now holds the Pac-12 all-time scoring and rebounding record, while claiming eight single-season or career records including tying the scoring average record, a mark set in 1989. She scored 2,737 points, besting fellow alum Candice Wiggins and grabbed 1,567 rebounds, besting fellow alum Kayla Pedersen, in addition to setting the single-season conference record for points scored at 967, passing fellow alum and her sister, Nneka Ogwumike. She swept the Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards for the second straight season, with the defensive honor being her third in a row. That makes her a two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year, three-time Defensive Player of the Year and four-time all-Conference. No one, man or woman has ever won the Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive player of the year award, and she has done it twice! Lastly, she set a record for being named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the ninth time this season and the 18th time in her career.
She finished the season as the only player to rank in the national top 10 in scoring (26.1 ppg - fourth), rebounding (12.1 rpg - ninth), field-goal percentage (60.1 - fourth), and double-doubles (27 - third).
After being named to every major award’s preseason watch list as well as to every preseason All-America Team, Ogwumike went on to a season in which she averaged 26.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game while shooting 60.1 percent from the field. Those numbers helped Ogwumike earn her second straight selections to the ESPN, USBWA, John R. Wooden Award, and Associated Press First Teams, with the AP nod being her third overall after being named to the second team in 2012. Additionally, Ogwumike was honored at the Final Four in Nashville by being named to the WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team for the third straight season, joining Candice Wiggins (2005-08), Nneka Ogwumike (2010-12) and Nicole Powell (2002-04) as Stanford’s only three-time WBCA All-Americans. She was honored by the Stanford Alumni Association as one of two graduating seniors to receive the 2014 J.E. Wallace Sterling Award for outstanding service to Stanford.
She also had wrote the lyrics to this song:
Coach Tara Vanderveer got her 900 th career victory this season, and in her understated style, no one got to see it, which was fine by her. The win came at the Puerto Vallarta gave tourney that clearly was not ready for prime time. No televised games, or even videotaped for later. Official score keepers and statistician had to be borrowed from the teams. She now stands alongside legends Pat Summitt, Sylvia Hatchell, C. Vivian Stringer and Jody Conradt in the exclusive 900 club.
The pinnacle of the season was Stanford clinching their trip to the final four at Maples Pavilion and getting to see their inspiring win in person. C and R are still smiling. What will next year hold?
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