Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Nneka Ogwumike dishes on UConn's Auriemma, Olympic aspirations

I caught up with Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike before Thursday's preseason game against the Connecticut Sun for a story on Ogwumike and her sister Chiney. Towards the end of the interview I was able to get Nneka's take on playing for UConn Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma and the U.S. national team.

"He is very honest and very direct and I appreciate that," said Ogwumike, who averaged 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds to help the U.S. win the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women. "A lot of times you might be with coaches who might not want to connect on a personal level but he is personable but also relates to your concerns as a player and that is one thing I really appreciate.

"I was able to play with people I usually play against. It helps me realize that I keep getting invited to these camps and there is a reason I am here. Geno put in perfectly when we were in Maryland last year that 'there is always a reason why you are here but there may not be a reason why we cut you.' It is one thing I have made very important in the process and I hope that there are very small things that I can do to help that team get another (Olympic) gold medal."

So what would it mean to Ogwumike if she were able to win an Olympic gold medal next year?

"That is at the top of my list in my career, I can't even think of anything else I would rather do aside from winning a WNBA championship. I would probably retire right there, just kidding."

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