Nneka Ogwumike indicators deal to affix Seattle Storm in free agency

Cassandra Negley

Nneka Ogwumike is headed to Seattle.

Ogwumike launched on social media on Monday afternoon that she modified into once signing a deal to affix the Seattle Storm. The deal, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, is for one season.

“Nneka is one in every of basically the most impactful players in the history of our league, now not easiest her achievements on the court nevertheless also as an agent of certain alternate all the intention in which by the WNBA,” Storm neatly-liked manager Talisa Rhea stated in a assertion. “I do know Seattle and our neighborhood fragment our enthusiasm that Nneka is coming to the Storm.”

Ogwumike will join the Storm after they went gorgeous 11-29 final season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

“I’m engrossing into this season of alternate with you, Seattle,” Ogwumike stated in a assertion. “With my teammates, coaches, workers, organization, possession, and, most importantly, the fans. Every segment of me is grateful and ready for this likelihood to proceed to be enormous and reduction legacy. You might perchance’t aloof this Storm.”

Ogwumike, 33, finished sixth in MVP voting in 2023, averaging 19.1 aspects and eight.8 rebounds. It modified into once second easiest to her MVP season in 2016 when she averaged 19.6 aspects (third in the league), 9.1 rebounds (third) and 1.2 blocks (eighth) per sport. The 6-foot-2 forward is an eight-time All-Neatly-known particular person and earned second-crew All-WNBA honors final year.

The unrestricted free agent launched final week she wouldn’t return to the easiest organization for which she’s ever played. The Sparks drafted her No. 1 total in 2012 and she gained Rookie of the 365 days honors. She averaged 16.5 aspects and eight.8 rebounds over a 12-year occupation that incorporated the 2016 WNBA championship and league MVP award.

It marked the official finish of an skills following the infamous 2019 postseason under head coach Derek Fisher.

Fisher, in his first year as a head coach, benched well-known particular person forward Candace Parker in a must-take hold of Game 3 of the semifinals. It modified into once a baffling transfer that created palpable stress straight. Two offseasons later in 2021, Parker and point guard Chelsea Gray both left in free agency. Parker gained her third championship with the Chicago Sky that season. Gray gained her second with the Las Vegas Aces in 2022, they typically both gained it with the Aces this past October.

Ogwumike’s sister, used No. 1 total elevate Chiney Ogwumike, joined her in Los Angeles where they played sparingly together correct by the final two years due to of Chiney’s accidents. Nneka Ogwumike’s exit opens up a complete rebuild for head coach Curt Miller, who took the LA job in 2022 after a profitable stint with the Connecticut Solar. The Sparks fired Fisher 12 video games into the season.

In the “Shattered Glass” documentary released on Wednesday, Ogwumike in fact useful her fogeys it had been some time since they have been attending playoff video games in October. The Sparks have now not been to the postseason since 2020. It modified into once the first time Ogwumike did not play in the playoffs over her occupation.

She played at an MVP level final season, nevertheless the speed modified into once dominated by Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson and Alyssa Thomas. Ogwumike is the president of the WNBA Gamers Affiliation and helped shepherd in a contemporary skills with the 2020 collective bargaining settlement. Most severely, it increased max salaries by 82% in the first year and supplied maternity protections. The players and the league can decide out of the CBA in November.

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