Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike Inspire Others Through Empowerment and Education as Sisters Receive WNBA Cares Community Assist Award Presented by State Farm®
NEW YORK, August 15, 2014 – WNBA All-Stars and sisters Chiney Ogwumike of the Connecticut Sun and Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks were named recipients of the July WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm for their generosity and charitable efforts across the globe. On the court, the sisters made history in April becoming only the second set of siblings ever selected with the top overall pick in an American professional sports draft.
Chiney and Nneka’s parents are originally from Nigeria, and the family maintains deep ties to the country. The sisters teamed up with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to launch a fundraising competition which helps raise funds to support UNICEF programs, such as the Girls’ Education Project, that focuses on education and empowerment for young women in Nigeria. The Girls’ Education Project aims to give one million girls in Nigeria access to quality learning, provide scholarships for female teachers and establish safe spaces for girls. The goal of the competition is to engage middle school, high school and AAU basketball teams across the country. Competition participants can enter as a team or individually by logging on to Chiney and Nneka’s fundraising page: www.crowdrise.com/nnekaandchiney. Winners of the competition will receive a private basketball clinic with the Ogwumike sisters.
They also recently hosted a basketball clinic for local athletes at St. Bernard’s High School in Uncasville, Conn., and educated the group about the Girls’ Education Project. The clinic included basketball drills and friendly competition, with the sisters serving as team captains.
"We've always wanted to make a difference, and our Nigerian culture is a huge part of who we are," said Chiney Ogwumike. “Basketball has empowered us to educate people about this cause – that’s a lot bigger than what we do on the court.”
“These girls have a right to an education and to live without fear,” said Nneka Ogwumike. "We hope that by making others aware of the situation in Nigeria that it will help make a difference in these girls’ lives.”
In recognition of their efforts, the WNBA and State Farm will donate $7,500 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. The WNBA Community Assist Award presented by State Farm is awarded monthly during the season to the player that best reflects the WNBA’s passion to make a difference in the community. Please visit wnba.com/statefarmcommunityassist for more information on the award and its recipients.