Nneka Ogwumike Voices Gratitude After Announcing She’s Leaving the Los Angeles Sparks

The WNBA star has spent the last 12 years in California, and she’s ready for a new challenge.
Nneka Ogwumike

Nneka Ogwumike.

Nneka Ogwumike has spent the last 12 years in the WNBA, after being selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2012 WNBA Draft.

But she’s finally hanging up her purple-and-gold jersey. The professional athlete told the L.A. Sparks on Wednesday, Jan. 24, that she will be leaving the team after 12 seasons, a 2016 WNBA Championship ring and the 2016 MVP trophy.

The 33-year-old took to Instagram after informing her team to share her gratitude for the last decade plus of pro play.

“Jide nke iji | Hold on to what you have,” she wrote in the caption. “I have SO much. So much love for the city that unconditionally embraced this Stanford kid 12 years ago. So much pride in being only a small piece of the legacy that is Championship City. So much pain and sweat with teammates, coaches, staff, and ownership that gave life to what it really means to be SHOWTIME. So much gratitude for the fans and the people of LA that raised me. So much joy for what it means to be #30 in purple & gold. I have SO much because of the Los Angeles Sparks, and even more for my heart to hold on in this season of change. LA, I hope it’s not goodbye, but ‘see you later’.”

With her departure, Ogwumike becomes an unrestricted free agent, meaning her future in the WNBA is wide open.

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Martha Zaytoun


Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.