Stanford's Ogwumike gives back to her roots
SAN FRANCISCO – Pac-12 Player of the Year? Check. Consensus All-American? Check. Wooden Award preseason top 30 list? Check.
Work in the Ministry of Petroleum office in Nigeria? When it comes to Chiney Ogwumike, you can check that off, too.
In the spring, the multi-talented Cardinal forward completed an internship in Nigeria – the homeland of her mother and father – as a part of her international relations major, serving as a special adviser.
“It was very eye-opening,” Ogwumike said. “I think people come in with very different perspectives about Nigeria and the government, but I met a lot of people who are working very hard to change the atmosphere of politics there, one that helps the people more, and I witnessed that in the Ministry of Petroleum.”
In addition to working with the national assembly and human rights committee, Ogwumike also found time to volunteer at a basketball camp and raise money for her charity Access to Success to build a basketball court in Nigeria (she has raised $6,000 of the requisite $15,000 to get it done). Of all the endeavors Ogwumike undertook, working the basketball camp provided the best memories.
“The first thing I realized working the basketball camp was that a basketball camp is a basketball camp no matter who is playing, what language they speak, no matter what the kids look like. A basketball camp is a basketball camp, and I love that,” she said. “People love the game of basketball. It has done so much for me in the U.S.; I just only wish that we can provide opportunities for people in Nigeria and Africa and beyond that were like mine.”
Did I mention that she’s also helping to write a new song and produce an accompanying music video for her team back on The Farm?
[Related: 2013-14 Stanford women's basketball schedule]