USA-based Nigerian female basketball youngster, Erica Ogwumike has admitted she has a burning desire to keep her family tradition going in the game, even as she sets about marking marks in collegiate scenes.
After watching two of her older sisters play in multiple Final Fours of the collegiate basketball league, Ogwumike is eager to begin her own run of excelling in the NCAA Tournament with Rice University.
That is the scenario propelling the younger sister of WNBA No. 1 overall draft picks, Nneka Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike, who are Erica’s real deal inspirations and motivators, on and off the court.
Ogwumike is the Conference USA player of the year and a big reason why No. 21 Rice (28-3) carries a 21-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament.
There actually are two Ogwumike sisters on Rice’s roster, with Olivia also listed as a 5-11 senior forward, who has played nine games while battling injuries this season.
Both started their careers at Pepperdine before transferring to Rice, and the older Ogwumikes keep giving their younger siblings useful advice to excel, though Erica Ogwumike is quite a different type of player from her sisters who starred at Stanford.
While Chiney is 6-foot-4 and Nneka is 6-2, Erica is a shorter 5-9 guard, but she rebounds just like her siblings, leading Conference USA with 10.8 boards per game.
The Rice junior, who averages 16.3 points, said: “It’s really awesome to be in this position right now.
“Growing up, I’ve seen my sisters go through the NCAA Tournament and I kind of shockingly thought it was normal.
“When I became a D1 player, I didn’t realize how much work you have to put in to get there
“I just deal with what I have. I’m fortunate to be 5-9 because I think in the regular world that’s pretty tall.
“But, in the basketball world (it’s not) and of course in my household, other than my mom, I’m the shortest.
“I always make jokes and say my sisters stole my meals as a kid or something, and that’s the only reason they got that tall.”