Reigning national player of the year and Stanford women’s basketball alumna Chiney Ogwumike was named the Pac-12 Woman of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday.
She is Stanford’s second recipient of the award since its inception in 2006. Cross country and track and field standout Arianna Lambie earned the honor in 2008. The Pac-12 Woman of the Year award honors a graduating student-athlete who has distinguished herself throughout her collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.
As the Pac-12 Woman of the Year recipient, Ogwumike has been nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Ogwumike enjoyed one of the most decorated campaigns by a Stanford student-athlete in 2013-14. On the court she became Stanford women’s basketball’s first recipient of the John R. Wooden Award as national player of the year, as well as sweeping the Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards for the second straight season, with the top defender nod also being her third straight. Her play helped lead the Cardinal to a 33-4 record, its 12th Final Four and sixth over the past seven years, and 14th consecutive Pac-12 regular-season title. Ogwumike was also named a consensus All-American after finishing the season as the only player to rank in the national top 10 in scoring (26.1 ppg – fourth), rebounding (12.1 rpg – ninth), field-goal percentage (60.1 – fourth), and double-doubles (27- third).
She ended her four-year career as the Pac-12’s all-time leading scorer (2,737 points) and rebounder (1,567), and set the conference record for points scored in a season with 967.
In the classroom, Ogwumike achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 3.47 while earning her bachelor's degree in international relations. She was named the 2014 Capital One Academic All-American of the Year in February, and earned her second straight selection to the Capital One Academic All-America Team. In March she collected another academic honor, being named the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Ogwumike was also an active participant in numerous community service projects, both local and abroad. Locally, she worked with the Stanford women's basketball teams at local food banks while during the spring of 2013 she traveled abroad to Nigeria for a mission that was two-fold. While interning with the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum as part of her academic curriculum, she found time to work with the charity "Access 2 Success" to help raise funds with the goal of building a brand-new basketball court for the local youth.
In April, Ogwumike joined her older sister Nneka (2012, Los Angeles Sparks) as Stanford's second No. 1 overall selection in the WNBA Draft, being picked by the Connecticut Sun. The honor made the Ogwumikes the second set of siblings to be taken first overall in a major American sports draft, joining the Mannings, Peyton (1998, Indianapolis Colts, NFL) and Eli (2004, San Diego Chargers, NFL).Over the past month, both Chiney and Nneka have been active in raising awareness to the recent kidnappings of schoolgirls in Nigeria. According to the Associated Press the sisters have made plans to begin working with the US Fund for UNICEF in an effort to help with the matter.