Chiney Ogwumike is heading to Los Angeles
The Connecticut Sun announced they are sending Chiney Ogwumike to the Los Angeles Sparks for their 2020 first draft pick.
The trade reunites the Ogumike sisters, who played together at Stanford from 2010-2012.
Chiney Ogwumike was drafted by the Sun with the first overall pick in 2014 and played three seasons with the team.
When she’s been on the court she’s played a critical role for the Sun. However, she missed two full seasons during her time with the team.
In her rookie season, she averaged a career-high 15.5 point and 7.5 rebounds in 29.7 minutes per game. In addition to starting every game, she was also named to the All-Rookie Team and was named Rookie of the Year.
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She missed the entire 2015 season after sustaining an injury to her right knee requiring micro-fracture surgery prior to the start of the season.
In 2016 a healthy Ogwumike started 18 of the team’s 33 games and averaged 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
After injuring her Achilles tendon while playing in China in December 2016, Ogwumike signed a contract extension with the Sun in April 2017. That same month she was suspended from the team in order to free up a roster spot.
Last season Ogwumike started all 31 games and averaged 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in 25.5 minutes per game. Her 60.3 perfect field goal percentage was third in the league last season.
As for how this impacts the Sun, it is worth noting that Connecticut had its breakout season in 2017, one that Ogwumike missed due to injury. Even in 2018, lineups featuring Alyssa Thomas, but not Ogwumike, posted an offensive rating of 115.6, and a defensive rating of 100. With Ogwumike on the floor, those numbers dropped to 110.2 and 106.5, respectively — still strong, but reflecting a rotation that probably couldn’t feature all three the way their respective talents demand.
Though she will be missed by Connecticut, she may be missed the most by the Sun’s first-round draft pick Kristine Anigwe.
After being drafted she said, “[Chiney is] my role model, to be playing with her is a dream come true, we’ve been talking about this for so long, to have her in my corner, to have her as a mentor, they were talking about that yesterday, finding someone you trust. And I know Chiney, that’s my everything, my sister. I call her for everything, so now I can literally knock on her door and be like ‘hey, can you help me?’”
The Sun will play the Sparks three times this season, in Los Angeles on May 31 and August 25 and in Uncasville on June 6.
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