You probably know Chiney Ogwumike as a star forward on the Connecticut Sun, 2014 WNBA Rookie of the Year, All-Star and former first overall pick in the WNBA draft.
Now, the 25-year-old is taking on a new role with ESPN as the co-host of SportsCenter across sub-Saharan Africa. Ogwumike, who earlier this year signed a multi-year extension with the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, will co-host the African edition of SportsCenter.
Last year, Econet Media’s Kwesé Sports and ESPN announced a long-term multimedia collaboration across Africa, including the launch in March of an ESPN channel. The coverage will feature an array of sports, including football, basketball, cricket, rugby, boxing, MMA, motorsports including F1, Indy500, Athletics, Tennis, the best in American sports such as the NFL, MLB, NHL and much more – all with a uniquely African perspective.
Ogwumike will join forces with co-host Phil Murphy on SportsCenter in Africa, bringing sports fans across 19 sub-Saharan nations a nightly look at the latest in International and American sports news, highlights and updates in the program’s signature fast-paced format.
“I am thrilled to be joining ESPN to host this unique edition of SportsCenter dedicated to sports fans across Africa,” said Ogwumike. “This is a wonderful opportunity to combine who I am and what I am passionate about. As a Nigerian-American professional women’s basketball player, and now SportsCenter co-host, I want to inspire and empower rising generations across Africa and the US to pursue their dreams.”
Charly Classen, Vice President and General Manager, ESPN EMEA, said of Ogwumike’s new role, “We are incredibly excited to add somebody as talented, knowledgeable and passionate as Chiney join the African edition of SportsCenter. She brings a remarkable combination of deep, first-hand understanding of sport and a longtime connection to Africa.”
Both of Ogwumike’s parents immigrated to the United States from Nigeria, settling in the Houston, Texas area. Since then, the WNBA star has traveled regularly to Africa, visiting family, studying and promoting basketball, education and youth empowerment.
Ogwumike and older sister Nneka played at Stanford before both going on to the WNBA, where the two made history as the first siblings to go #1 overall in a professional sports draft since the Manning brothers. Chiney was the top overall draft pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft, a WNBA All-Star and the 2014 WNBA Rookie of the Year.