December 19, 2019
Cy-Fair High School graduates and former basketball standouts Nneka, left, and Chiney Ogwumike, right, are joined with their family after the girl’s basketball program officially retired their jerseys during a ceremony Dec. 13 before the Bobcats faced Cypress Falls High School. The sisters led Cy-Fair to four trips to the UIL Basketball State Championships (2007-2010) and Class 5A titles in 2008 and 2010, with each earning multiple all-state and national player of the year awards.
By Samantha Blocker, Cy-Fair HS
Dec. 18, 2019—Cy-Fair High School graduates and former girls’ basketball standouts Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike returned to their alma mater on Dec. 13, as the program celebrated the two and officially retired their jerseys before the varsity got the best of one of its rivals.
Before the varsity team took the floor against Cypress Falls High School, the program and supporters welcomed the Ogwumike sisters and their family to the court, gifting them framed replica jerseys before all in attendance were asked to look up to the rafters to see Nneka’s No. 30 and Chiney’s No. 13 jerseys.
The sisters join another former Cy-Fair basketball great, Lindsey Harding, whose No. 12 jersey was retired in 2007. The 2002 Cy-Fair graduate starred at Duke University before becoming the WNBA’s No. 1 overall pick in 2007. She is currently an assistant coach for player development for the Sacramento Kings.
Cy-Fair High School graduates and former basketball standouts Nneka, left, and Chiney Ogwumike acknowledge supporters in the stands during a pregame ceremony in which the girl’s basketball program officially retired the sisters’ jerseys. (Photo by Samantha Blocker, Cy-Fair HS)
“It means the world to me to have my jersey retired back at Cy-Fair because Cy-Fair is where I became confident in who I was and who I could be in this world,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “Cy-Fair basketball sets a high standard for excellence and it is an honor to be a part of its legacy alongside my sister.”
Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike both played collegiately at Stanford University, posting a combined 203-19 record across six seasons to go along with five Final Four appearances. Both were No. 1 overall picks in the WNBA (2012 and 2014). Nneka was the league’s MVP in 2016 while leading the Los Angeles Sparks to the WNBA championship, while Chiney is a two-time all-star who joined Sparks in 2019 after starting her career with the Connecticut Sun.
The two are influential off the court. They serve in leadership positions for the WNBA Players Association, with Nneka elected president in 2016. Chiney is a full-time basketball analyst with ESPN. Both have partnered with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support efforts in Nigeria.
A hospitality room was set up before the game, where the sisters spent time with friends and family. Culinary students prepared two personalized cakes and cookies. A slideshow and other memorabilia across the room highlighted the Ogwumikes’ time with the Bobcats.
Former Cy-Fair High School basketball standouts Chiney (purple top) and Nneka Ogwumike (black top) join the varsity team and led the players in a chant on Dec. 13 before the Bobcats faced Cypress Falls High School. (Photo by Samantha Blocker, Cy-Fair HS)
That run included four consecutive trips to the UIL Basketball State Championships (2007-2010) and Class 5A titles in 2008 and 2010. Nneka also led the Bobcats to the UIL state semifinals in volleyball in 2007.
Each sister was named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Athlete of the Year after winning at the state level, and Player of the Year by Parade magazine’s annual All-America team. Nneka was named MaxPreps.com’s first-ever Girls National Athlete of the Year in 2008, with Chiney earning the same distinction two years later.
During the pregame ceremony, Head Basketball Coach Anne Roubique thanked the entire Ogwumike family for their continued contributions to CFISD and Cy-Fair High School. Before taking the microphone, Nneka and Chiney spotted even more former teammates among the many supporters and fans who packed the stands, many in white t-shirts with a maroon paw print on the front and the retired jersey numbers on the back.
“Cy-Fair is all about the people and those who made a mark during my high school tenure [who] still are a big part of my life today,” Chiney Ogwumike said.
Along with a framed replica jersey, each was presented with a trophy and 2019-2020 season ‘Hoop Squad’ shirt. Both sisters then joined the current varsity team in a pregame chant before taking photos, signing autographs and cheering on the Bobcats. They served as judges during a halftime competition among the baseball and softball players, and a raffle was held for a chance to win an autographed shoe.
Cy-Fair High School girls’ basketball retired the jerseys of sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike during a pregame ceremony on Dec. 13. The two join Lindsey Harding, who had her jersey retired in 2007. The three were each No. 1 overall selections in their respective WNBA drafts.
Cy-Fair ended the night off with a 76-39 victory.
“I'm not sure I can put into words how blessed I feel for this to be happening,” Nneka Ogwumike said. “Cy-Fair was a legacy before we attended and I am simply grateful to have been a part of history.”