Nneka Ogwumike has agreed in principle to a multi-year deal to return to the L.A. Sparks, sources told Winsidr’s Rachel Galligan on Wednesday. Players can officially sign with teams beginning on Feb. 1.
Ogwumike is the President of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association and has played all nine of her professional seasons in Los Angeles.
Ogwumike took meetings with at least two other teams, per Galligan. The Sparks cored Ogwumike earlier this month.
Perennially one of the best players in the WNBA, Ogwumike was drafted 1st overall by the Sparks in 2012 and won Rookie of the Year that season. The Texas native earned her first of six All-Star Game nods in 2013, and was named to her first of four All-WNBA teams in 2014. She has also made five All-Defensive teams over the course of her WNBA career.
Ogwumike’s best season came in 2016, the 6-foot-2 forward/center hitting a game-winner in the waning seconds of WNBA Finals Game 5 to claim her first and only league championship trophy. Ogwumike also claimed Most Valuable Player honors that year, averaging 19.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game on absurd 67/62/87 shooting splits.
The 30-year old’s numbers dipped slightly during 18 games in 2020, Ogwumike averaging 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. The Sparks have good reason to expect a bounce-back in 2021, however, as Ogwumike was slowed by nagging injuries and ailments in the Bradenton, Florida bubble.