Connecticut Sun’s Chiney Ogwumike joined the SportzEdge Tonight studios on Wednesday, and beat both John and Erik in Pop-A-Shot. She also talked about #NerdNation, and her first season with the Sun.
Check out the video above.
SE: Is it okay to call you a WNBA superstar?
SE: You’re hurt coming into this year. Is there any chance you’re going to play this season?
Ogwumike: You know, I had a bump in the road. I had some surgery. But there are a lot of things working in my favor. I’m young, I’m motivated, I’m healthy, and science is really advanced. So, I’m not worried at all. I just want to take the right amount of time before I come back because you don’t want to re-injure yourself by coming back too soon.
SE: How hard is that, you’ve played basketball your whole life. You’ve probably never had a break for more than a couple of weeks. Are you prepared to sit and be a cheerleader?
Ogwumike: You know, it’s been a blessing in disguise. Being able to rest is really nice, and being like a normal human being because we’ve been on the circuit since we were like, 10. I had some great highlights of not playing. Being able to see my little sister win a state championship, visiting my other sister at Pepperdine, as she was a freshman and starting. I just got back from visiting my older sister Nneka in Russia and the Czech Republic. So, I’ve been able to see things that I usually would miss.
SE: You’ve already started to think about what you want to do after basketball. Does something like this give you a chance to kind of work on those skills?
Ogwumike: Absolutely. I think as women’s basketball players, it’s very important to think of long-term because obviously, we have a difference in salary between the NBA and the WNBA. We automatically come in with degrees because we tend to have people come in after four years. So we have that edge and then we also realize that we can’t make that much money. We start thinking about things, and I really just try to capitalize on the opportunities that I’ve had.
SE: Now, you made our guys in the weather department very nervous with your performance in front of the green screen today. Is a career in weather a future for you.
Ogwumike: Absolutely not. (Laughs) I’m horrible. I was absolutely horrible.
SE: You were very unathletic in front of the green screen.
Ogwumike: You know what, I think I could dance in front of the green screen, change the backgrounds, be around the world. But I don’t fit in the camera.
SE: Your talent on the court is enormous, but your personality is probably even bigger.
Ogwumike: Well, when I was at Stanford, I had this epiphany. I was mentored by Condoleezza Rice, which was awesome. She told me, Chiney, that intensity that you take on the court and play with, is what you should do in everything you do in your life.
Ogwumike: So Nerd Nation is something that sort of happened randomly. We had this video called Nerd City, which in my head was super corny at the time. And that video went viral, so I was like, let’s celebrate this culture. We need to redefine “nerd.” We can be who we want to be. I made this video “Nerd Nation,” which celebrates the concept of being a student-athlete. I think you guys are a part of it.
SE: Thanks. Well, should we have a nerd shoot-off, Pop-A-Shot?
Ogwumike: I think so, but I think you guys have been practicing. I think you’re lying to me.