Chiney Ogwumike Talks Style and Upcoming adidas Projects

We caught up with the LA Sparks forward and broadcaster during All Star Weekend

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Chiney Ogwumike is a woman of many talents. An all time great WNBA career to which she’s still adding accomplishments; a growing basketball analyst career where she became the first Black woman and the first WNBA player to host a national radio show for ESPN; and one of the first and youngest commentators ever to be named an NBA analyst for the network covering the NBA, WNBA, and variety of sports. All of this not to mention her growing impact in the world of style. Since joining the adidas family in 2016, Ogwumike has become one of the brand’s leading faces, and a prominent part of their initiatives. We chatted with Ogwumike over All Star Weekend to talk more about what’s in store.

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ONE37pm: adidas has had so many projects over these past years that have been groundbreaking for women. How has it been being involved in that?

Ogwumike: I feel like we have really been moving the needle, but there’s still a ways to go. For example, I’m 6'2", so there’s still some more in terms of finding pieces for taller women. adidas is a very authentic brand. One of the first things I ever did with them was a commercial called “Calling All Creators,” which is something that referenced creators from all walks of life. It was something where anybody could be creative regardless of what you do. It’s been cool doing things like that where everyone can feel authentic.

We’re all suited and booted in three stripe life, and I think adidas is very on point with all that they do. 

ONE37pm: You wear a lot of different hats—whether it’s your television style or pre-game outfits. How has your style evolved?

Ogwumike: I always say my style is “sporty spice.” Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Spice Girls era, but I like to be sporty because I am an athlete that is always on the go, but I also like to be comfortable and that’s why I keep it spicy. When I first went into media I kind of thought I needed to fit this cookie cutter news lady image, but then I was like “No! I need to be myself!” I felt that was the best way I could communicate myself directly. I’m going to come with all the numbers, statistics, and basketball education when I’m on air, but I also want young girls to know that they are being seen. 

ONE37pm: We see you repping your Nigerian heritage a lot through your style, and that is something that we are even seeing more with adidas as some of their collections have been very tribal. What goes into your daily style?

Ogwumike: Yeah! I did the Black Panther adidas collection with Rich Mnisi and that was so full of culture and heritage. There’s a lot of things from adidas that I incorporate into my daily style such as some the form fitting dresses that can translate into office wear or heading into the court, or the collaboration that I did with Rich Mnisi. I like to wear things that are vibrant and colorful, and I like for people to know that I am intentional with what I wear. 

ONE37pm: What has been your favorite community project with adidas?

Ogwumike: Ooh you’re going to be one of the first to write about it! My favorite project is an initiative we’re doing to build a basketball court in Lagos, Nigeria, which is literally like the New York City of Africa. It’s been great to work with my sister and the designer who’s been amazing. It’s a court design that celebrates women is hands down the coolest thing. 

ONE37pm: What advice would you give the Chiney of ten years ago?

Ogwumike: That’s a great question, and I think it’s even better because I’m going into ten years of being a professional. I would tell her to pursue her love because you never know where that can take you. I fell in love with basketball, got injured, and then that turned into my broadcasting career. So make the most of every moment, never lose what makes you happy, and never lose your shine.

As women, and especially as Black women, we are tested and there’s different peaks and valleys of your career. I’ve had some valleys, so I would tell her to stay authentic and really just enjoy the moment. There’s so many amazing moments ahead, and you blink and it goes by fast. I’m no longer the “cute young rookie.” I’m now the older seasoned veteran. 

ONE37pm: No you’re grown and sexy now!

Ogwumike: Ah that’s it! And on that note we can mic drop!

You can keep up with all of Chiney’s latest updates via Instagram.

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