Basketball: Sparks coach Derek Fisher not happy about Nneka Ogwumike's snub from Team USA

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jun 23 2021 12:37 PM

Los Angeles Sparks coach Derek Fisher did not hold back Tuesday when asked about star forward Nneka Ogwumike's omission from the United States national team for the 2020 Olympics.

"Where do I start? We're pissed, honestly," Fisher said. "Nothing has to be 'given' to her. She earned it and she deserves it. That's the most frustrating and disappointing part."

Ogwumike, a six-time All-Star and 2016 WNBA MVP, has never competed at the Olympics, missing out in 2012 and 2016. She has won gold medals at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Championships.

She has also attended every Team USA camp over the past few seasons and led the team in scoring.

"To think that she might go through her career and never play for Team USA and the Olympics is a freaking travesty," Fisher added.

Other notable omissions from the team include former WNBA MVPs Elena Della Donne and Candace Parker.

Ogwumike was drafted No. 1 overall in 2012 by the Sparks and proceeded to win Rookie of the Year. For her career, she has averaged 16.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

She has not played since June 1 due to a left knee sprain, and Team USA coach Dawn Staley implied Monday that her injury played a role in her missing out.

But Fisher said Ogwumike will be back and healthy before the Olympics start, making it a moot point.

"You can try to throw the injury out there if you want to; I'm calling BS on that, too," Fisher said.

Fisher is not the only one to express displeasure at Ogwumike's snub.

Nneka's sister, Chiney Ogwumike, tweeted yesterday about the decision, saying it is the second time her family has been "heartbroken for her" after being snubbed during her 2016 MVP season.

"No one practices harder. Plays harder. Cares more. No one is a better teammate or leader," Chiney wrote.

Nneka Ogwumike has not commented publicly on the matter.

--Field Level Media


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