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Nneka Ogwumike surprisingly absent from Olympic roster

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Team USA revealed its 12-player women’s basketball roster for the Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning, and notably absent was Nneka Ogwumike.

Ogwumike went down in early June with a left knee sprain and was expected to return in four to six weeks. The women’s basketball tournament in Tokyo begins July 26, weeks after Ogwumike is expected to return to the WNBA court.

Chiney Ogwumike, who has missed time with an injury of her own, questioned her sister’s snub in a lengthy Twitter post. The Ogwumikes play together for the Los Angeles Sparks.

“I have watched Nneka put 144 players first each & every day for YEARS,” Chiney wrote about her sister, who is the president of the WNBA Players Association. “No one practices harder. Plays harder. Cares more. No one is a better teammate or leader.

“At the end of the day, her timeline worked PERFECTLY to return to play for the Olympics. Just wish that the process operated with the same grade that it has delivered OTHER stars.”

Notably, Diana Taurasi was named to the Olympic team is currently also sidelined with an injury.

Team USA coach Dawn Staley said it “breaks her heart” that Ogwumike was not included on the final Olympic team roster.

Ogwumike is the only season MVP in WNBA history who has not yet been named to an Olympic team. A member of the national team, she was second in scoring for Team USA in 2019-20 and was the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament MVP.