It’s no secret that Stanford is difficult academically. It’s also no secret that Stanford dominates athletically. Stanford student athletes are pushed extremely hard, but in the long run, their determination pays off. Nneka Ogwumike is no different, and the Stanford alum has turned into a respected leader through her dedication for education and sports, making her the perfect representative for Stanford at the ESPYs.
Education comes first for student athletes at Stanford, and Nneka Ogwumike chose Stanford as a high schooler for that very reason. Majoring in psychology, the WNBA MVP took advantage of the many opportunities at Stanford, exposed herself to new people, and broadened her horizons. She mentioned to me in an interview, “Stanford really prepared me for my profession and really propelled me as a person.”
While at the Farm, Ogwumike began to set herself apart as a leader on and off the basketball court. On the court, she always worked hard to improve and viewed each year as a “developmental” one, and ultimately, her passion led Stanford to four final four appearances. Furthermore, her leadership on the court was noticed, and she was appointed to the Cardinal Council, which represents student athletes at Stanford. However, Ogwumike also impacted others off the court around campus as she played a key role in social congruence and was an active member of in the group, Black African Students. Ogwimike’s leadership skills though didn’t stop at Stanford.
WNBA players quickly noticed Ogwumike as a player and leader, so they elected her as president of WNBA players union.
“It honestly felt like an appointment because the past leader, Tamika Catchings, talked to me about being the next in line,” she stated, “and also I got a lot of support from my fellow teammates and fellow WNBA players. They as well thought that I was in line to fulfill those shoes after serving on the executive council for the past two years prior to being elected.”
Now, like all successful presidents, Ogwumike will impose her agenda through creativeness and intelligence. Specifically, she “wants to create a lasting impression on the league,” and her main goal is to get “more eyes and ears on the WNBA,” but she also wants to modify the current collective bargaining agreement. With Ogwumike leading the way, the WNBA is bound to take a leap forward in the coming years.
Stanford students strive to be the best, to lead and to innovate; Ogwumike is a model in all three areas, which is why she’s the perfect person to represent Stanford at the ESPYs. As the WNBA MVP and president, she is the league’s best player and leader and a cherished Stanford alum.
As Ogwumike heads to the ESPYs on July 12th, she’s extremely excited to accept the Capital One Cup on Stanford’s behalf and believes the award reassures what many already know about the Stanford athletic program.
“It’s just amazing for the women to win the award for the fourth time,” she said, “It’s important because the Capital One Cup embodies what Stanford athletics are about, performing at the highest level on and off the court.”
After winning three national championships this year, the Stanford women’s program certainly earned the $400,000 that comes with the award, and Ogwumike explained that “Stanford has always been great at sharing wealth and impacting as many as possible,” so the money will be put to good use.
For Ogwumike, she’s looking forward to taking part in the celebration, rekindling her Stanford days, and becoming more involved with the school she still loves.