Chiney Ogwumike of the Connecticut Sun and Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks were named recipients of the July WNBA Cares Community Assist Award for their generosity and charitable efforts. Their parents are originally from Nigeria and maintain deep ties to the country. The sisters teamed with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to launch a fundraising competition which helps raise funds to support UNICEF programs, such as the Girls’ Education Project, that focuses on education and empowerment for young women in Nigeria.
The Girls’ Education Project aims to give one million girls in Nigeria access to quality learning, provide scholarships for female teachers and establish safe spaces for girls. The goal of the competition is to engage middle school, high school and AAU basketball teams across the country. Competition participants can enter as a team or individually by logging on to Chiney and Nneka’s fundraising page: www.crowdrise.com/nnekaandchiney. Winners of the competition will receive a private basketball clinic with the Ogwumike sisters.
They also hosted a clinic at St. Bernard’s High School and educated the group about the Girls’ Education Project.
"We've always wanted to make a difference, and our Nigerian culture is a huge part of who we are," said Chiney Ogwumike. “Basketball has empowered us to educate people about this cause – that’s a lot bigger than what we do on the court.”
“These girls have a right to an education and to live without fear,” said Nneka Ogwumike. "We hope that by making others aware of the situation in Nigeria that it will help make a difference in these girls’ lives.”