Oct. 7, 2012
Ogwumike Named Rookie of the Year on WNBA.com
STANFORD, Calif. - Three-time Stanford All-American and Los Angeles Sparks forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike was named WNBA Rookie of the Year Sunday prior to Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Minnesota Lynx.
Ogwumike received 39 of 41 votes for the league's top newcomer honor in a landslide vote. Phoenix Mercury guard Samantha Prahalis and Tulsa Shock forward Glory Johnson split the remaining two votes.
It is the first major WNBA award captured by a Stanford player since Candice Wiggins was named WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year as a rookie in 2008.
The top pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft, Ogwumike helped lead the Sparks to the 2012 postseason after a one-year absence last year. The Sparks finished the 2012 regular season with a 24-10 record, third-best in the league and good enough for the Western Conference's No. 2 seed.
Ogwumike led the WNBA's rookies with 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as well as nine double-doubles. Her 53.5 field-goal percentage ranked second amongst all newcomers.
She earned the league's Rookie of the Month award four of five times, claiming the honor for May, July, August, and September.
Ogwumike posted seven 20-plus-point efforts in her rookie campaign, highlighted by a 30-point, 11-rebounds performance against the Chicago Sky on Sept. 13. She posted her first 20-20 game at Indiana on July 12, going for 22 points and 20 rebounds.
In the postseason, Ogwumike averaged 9.5 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the field in last week's two-game sweep of San Antonio in the Western Conference Semifinal.
Los Angeles dropped Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, 80-79 to Minnesota Sunday afternoon. Ogwumike scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting with seven rebounds in the loss.
While at Stanford from 2008-12, Ogwumike was a key part of four Final Four Cardinal teams. She was twice named Pac-10/12 Player of the Year (2010, 2012) as the Cardinal captured the conference double (regular season and tournament titles in the same year) four times (2009-12).
She was thrice named to the WBCA Coaches' All-America Team (2010-12), joining four-time All-American Candice Wiggins (2005-08) and Nicole Powell (2002-04) as the only Cardinal players to achieve that feat.
After setting Stanford single-season records in scoring (809 points), scoring average (22.1 ppg), free throws made (191) and attempted (230) in 2012, Ogwumike was a consensus All-American in 2012, being a unanimous selection to the Associated Press All-America First Team in addition to her WBCA honor and earning spots on the All-America Teams of the USBWA and John R. Wooden Award. Ogwumike also earned the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in 2012, joining Wiggins (2008) as Stanford's winners of the honor.
Over her four years on The Farm, Ogwumike scored 2,491 points (second all-time in Stanford history), shot 58.3 percent from the field (second), grabbed 1,226 rebounds (third), made 555 free throws (second) out of 718 attempts (first) while posting averages of 17.2 points (fourth) and 8.5 rebounds (fourth) per game. In addition to her single-season records set as a senior, she also holds Stanford's single-season rebounding mark with 376, set in 2009-10.
Stanford went 137-12 (.920) during Ogwumike's four years on The Farm.