Nigeria names Ogwumike sisters to Olympic provisional list


Nneka Ogwumike is a part of the provisional list of 15 players who could represent Nigeria in the Olympics this summer.

Sisters Erica and Chiney Ogwumike are also on the list that head coach Otis Hughley submitted to the Nigeria Basketball Federation, the organization announced Tuesday.

If the sisters make the official Nigerian Olympic roster, it would be a stunning turn of events for Nneka and Chiney, who previously represented the United States in international competitions. The Ogwumikes have dual citizenship.

Nneka has played for the U.S. women’s national team since 2014, including last year when she was named MVP of the 2020 FIBA Qualifying Tournament. She was surprisingly left off the American team heading to Tokyo, making her the only WNBA MVP to have never made a U.S. Olympic roster.

Under FIBA rules, anyone who has played in a main official FIBA competition for a national team for which they are eligible is “considered as having chosen the national team of that country.” However, there are exceptions permitting an athlete with dual citizenship to switch teams, such as if both national federations agree to it or the Secretary General of the country they are choosing to represent authorizes it.

If Nneka ends up on the Nigerian national team, she could face her former teammates twice this month. The U.S. meets Nigeria for an exhibition game in Las Vegas on July 18 and again in their first group stage game at the Olympics on July 27.