Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

One high school, so much talent

Over the years I have blogged about the incredible amount of success UConn players have enjoyed in the WNBA.

There's been plenty of document including the seven future No. 1 draft picks on the 2000-01 UConn team and the fact that all five starters on the 2001-02 team would be taken in the first round with four of them being members of the gold-medal winning 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

However, not even at UConn can they match what is about to occur tomorrow at Mohegan Sun Arena. When the Connecticut Sun host the Los Angeles Sparks, not only will there be three from Cy-Fair High School stars on the court but all three were No. 1 overall WNBA picks. Amazingly, that is the second time one high school can lay claim to three No. 1 overall picks as Christ the King grads Chamique Holdsclaw, Sue Bird and Tina Charles were taken first in the 1999, 2002 and 2008 drafts but they never shared the court in a regular-season game.

It started with Lindsey Harding back in 2007. Five years later Nneka Ogwumike was taken with the top pick and of course the Connecticut Sun made Chiney Ogwumike the No. 1 overall pick this year.

Chiney Ogwumike leads the Sun in scoring (15.3), rebounding (8.5) and blocks (1.3) Nneka Ogwumike is averaging a team-leading 7.7 rebounds per game while she is second on the team in scoring (14.9) for Los Angeles. Harding is second on the Sparks in assists (3.8) while averaging 7.3 points per game.

"That is crazy," Chiney Ogwumike said, "They said (on draft day) that was the third No. 1 pick from Cy-Fair and I said 'who?' They said 'Lindsey Harding' so I guess Cy-Fair is pumping things out, Coach Bique (Ann Robique) knows how to train basketball players. I knew Lindsey, she came back when I was there and I was able to talk to her throughout the recruiting process, our families know each other so we are good friends. I think it is one of those things that it is a sisterhood of basketball and it is cool. We looked up to them because we knew what they could do, they played at a state championship level."

In their final season together at Cy-Fair Nneka and Chiney were the only double-digit scorers and top two rebounders as Cy-Fair won its final 37 games en route to winning the Texas 5A state title.

"We take a lot of pride, we thank Cy-Fair for being who we are," Nneka Ogwumike said. "They are really supportive and we got back as often as we can, we revisit the memories and the people who are still there who really brought us up skill wise and also character wise off the court, it is truly a blessing to be able to go to a school like that and also be successful but I think for three No. 1 picks to come out of one high school is unheard of."

So what's going to happen when the two sisters square off tomorrow?

"I think we are just going to forget everything and just play," Nneka Ogwumike said. "Chiney and I, as complicated as it may seem when we are facing each other on the court, at the end of the day we are just going to release everything and let it all out on the court and be competitive like we truly are."

The 1 p.m. game is the first of two games between the teams as they will meet in Los Angeles on Aug. 3.

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