A WNBA superstar was cut from the US Olympics squad despite winning MVP of the qualifying tournament and leading scoring in 2020
- Nneka Ogwumike will not suit up for Dawn Staley's USA Basketball squad at the Tokyo Olympics.
- The LA Sparks star led Team USA in scoring in 2020 and won MVP in the qualifying tournament.
- Staley implied that injury kept Ogwumike off the roster, but her sisters publicly disagreed.
One of the WNBA's biggest stars missed the cut for the Olympics.
Nneka Ogwumike - the 2016 league MVP and WNBA players' association president - was left off of the 12-woman USA Basketball roster invited to represent the US at this summer's Tokyo games. The Los Angeles Sparks star's absence came as a surprise to many, especially considering she led Team USA in scoring last year and even won MVP in the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.
USA Basketball head coach Dawn Staley said it "breaks her heart" that Ogwumike was not included on the team, per ESPN's Mechelle Voepel. Staley also implied that a left knee injury the 6-foot-2 forward sustained early in June could have been to blame, but Ogwumike's sisters publicly pushed back on that explanation.
Erica Ogwumike, Nneka's younger sister, wrote on Twitter Monday that the 30-year-old's "return to play was well before the Olympics," so injury was "not the reason" she was left off the roster. She later referred to Nneka's absence from the roster as "an injustice."
Erica wasn't the only Ogwumike sister who took issue with the decision. Chiney Ogwumike, who plays alongside Nneka for the Sparks, posted a lengthy statement on Twitter in which she said Nneka "deserves her respect" and was "snubbed" as "the ONLY WNBA MVP that has yet to be named to an Olympic Roster."
-Chiney Ogwumike (@chiney) June 21, 2021
The 12 women selected for Team USA's Tokyo roster are as follows: Ariel Atkins, Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Napheesa Collier, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Sylvia Fowles, Jewell Loyd, Chelsea Gray, Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, and A'ja Wilson.
- Best FreeSync monitors for a smooth gaming experience
- Best condenser microphones to record podcasts, songs and more
- Best wireless handheld microphones for parties and events
- Best ukuleles for beginners and professionals
- Best acoustic violins for beginners