September 30, 2023
Locked on Women’s Basketball: How did Nneka Ogwumike fare as a WNBA draft prospect?
'She's just an intensely talented basketball player, an elegant mover'
It’s Saturday, which means it’s time for another episode in our WNBA Retrospect series at Locked on Women’s Basketball! The series reviews game film, stats, news articles and more to determine who has been the best prospect in WNBA history. Last week, Em Adler, Hunter Cruse and Lincoln Shafer discussed Maya Moore, the No. 1 overall pick in 2011. This week, Hunter and Lincoln discuss the 2012 No. 1 overall pick, Stanford forward Nneka Ogwumike.
In her senior season, Ogwumike averaged 22.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game on 54.7% shooting from the field. She was an AP First Team All-American and the Pac-12 Player of the Year. Here are Lincoln’s initial impressions of Ogwumike as a WNBA prospect:
“Nneka’s such a fluid and intuitive mover off the ball. That’s the first thing that really caught my eye … She’s just an intensely talented basketball player, an elegant mover, and she’s just really good inside the arc on both ends. Just one of the most solid basketball players. That’s how I would describe her play at Stanford is just she doesn’t make mistakes. She’s just doing what’s right. Her drives are deadly. Her cuts are really nice. And she’s a really solid defender, too.”
In the WNBA’s 27th season, save 27% on your subscription!
The WNBA Finals may be over, but our staff of writers is working hard to bring you everything you need to know about the WNBA, women’s college basketball and much more. Get started with a paid subscription, which helps support all of our writers, editors and photographers who work tirelessly to bring you this coverage, and save 27%!
At the same time, though, Lincoln points out how the Stanford offense impacted which skills Ogwumike could show talent evaluators:
“Nneka Ogwumike is a really interesting fit into that motion offense that they run at Stanford, that Princeton style, where she is such a smart cutter and such a smart basketball player that she really understands what’s going on. But it also feels like you’re not getting everything that you could get out of her while playing in that system because she’s such a good iso scorer, as she proves later in her WNBA career. She’s so good at just going and getting a bucket, but that’s not something she was really asked to do at Stanford.
“So it’s hard to … grade Nneka as high as we really want to because you can see all of the skills there and everything that you really want to see from a prospect like that, but not at the volume that you really want.”
Ogwumike was drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2012 and has played there ever since. Now 33 years old, she was named WNBA MVP in 2016, won a WNBA title the same year, and is an eight-time All-Star. In 356 career games, she has averaged 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 54.5% from the field and 36.1% from 3-point range.
The Next and The Equalizer are teaming up
The Next is partnering with The Equalizer to bring more women’s sports stories to your inbox. Subscribe to The Next now and receive 50% off your subscription to The Equalizer for 24/7 coverage of women’s soccer.
Make sure to subscribe to the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!
Add Locked on Women’s Basketball to your daily routine
Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.