May 6, 2024 

Golden State WNBA gets its GM: Ohemaa Nyanin

She will be a very familiar face to many players across the league

SAN FRANCISCO – The pieces to the puzzle that is WNBA Golden State continue to fall into place.

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Ohemaa Nyanin was named Monday morning as the franchise’s first general manager. Nyanin, who has extensive experience in both the WNBA and international basketball circles, will oversee all basketball operations, roster construction, team building and player development.

Nyanin took a deep breath before beginning her remarks at the Chase Center on Monday morning.

“Please just give me one second to take this all in,” Nyanin said, calling the opportunity “exhilarating and incredible.”

And then after thanking family, friends and her support system, Nyanin dove in.

“Hello Bay Area!” Nyanin said. “I know that this area has such a rich women’s basketball history and you are all hungry for a WNBA franchise.”

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The hunger is evidenced by the more than 7,200 people who have already put down season ticket deposits for a team without a coach, a player or an announced name and logo, which are expected to be announced within the next few weeks.

Team owner Joe Lacob teased Nyanin about calling him “Joe” and reiterated his quest to win a title for this team within the first five years. He said he found his leader to run the basketball side, explaining that Nyanin has met with nearly a dozen members of the organization during the interview process, and that she emerged as the clear choice.

“To have the architect of our team is very exciting,” Lacob said. “We have big goals for the future.”

Nyanin will report to Lacob and will begin her tenure on May 13. She joins team President Jess Smith, who was introduced on January 30, as the team’s front-line employees.

Nyanin spent the last five seasons with the New York Liberty in a variety of capacities, including assistant general manager. In that role, she served as the primary liaison between the basketball and business-operations teams. She was general manager Jonathan Kolb’s right hand as he built a Liberty team in 2023 that included free-agent acquisitions Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot.

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Additionally, Nyanin has served in roles with USA Basketball, as the assistant director of the women’s national team, working closely with former director Carol Callan and coordinating logistics of Team USA competitions, including Olympic tournaments. She has also worked with USA Basketball youth team programs. She has also had numerous roles with FIBA, the sport’s international governing body. Hers will be a very familiar face to both the top players in the league and its top young talent, which could be helpful when it comes time to sign free agents and drafting players.

“What brings me so much joy is that it’s a blank canvas,” Nyanin said. “And there are so many elements that can go into building a masterpiece…We are going to build a locker room and a family that players want to be a part of and a champion for all of us in the Bay Area and globally.

“I understand that there are pressures,”Nyanin said. “This is the best league in the world. There are only 144 spots right now and next year there will be 156. I’m just super excirted to hire a coach, know what their philosophies are and be able to collaborate with them to find the best players that will elevate their vision.”

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Written by Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith has covered women's basketball nationally for nearly three decades. Smith has worked for, The Athletic, the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as and She was named to the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame in 2015, is the 2017 recipient of the Jake Wade Media Award from the Collegiate Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) and was named the Mel Greenberg Media Award winner by the WBCA in 2019.

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