LOS ANGELES — When yet another reporter mispronounces her name in a post-game interview, Nnemkadi Ogwumike lets it roll off her shoulders.
She knows the drill. She laughs with the quiet confidence of a veteran and humbly sounds out each syllable, understanding that her name and the double-doubles she posts are secondary to the numbers on the scoreboard when the final buzzer sounds.
This summer is different for Ogwumike. She isn’t in Palo Alto training to bring a national championship to Stanford. She’s the number one draft pick for a Sparks team with high expectations after missing the playoffs last year. Indeed, this summer is also different for the Sparks.
“We played in four Final Fours at Stanford and didn’t win a championship,” Ogwumike said. “After leaving college I thought to myself: the seniors who graduated with me don’t have another chance to play for a championship, but I do here in L.A. I really take that to heart, whether it happens this year or in years to come. It motivates me every day.” (READ MORE.)