Nneka Ogwumike doesn’t need a game to validate All-Star status

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2016 is a year to celebrate in the world of women’s basketball.

There’s the 24th Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro just a month away and the WNBA’s 20th season is currently in full swing.

However with the Olympics happening, it also means no WNBA AllStar game in 2016. Once again, Los Angeles Sparks star forward Nneka Ogwumike has put together an All-Star caliber start to the season but with no All-Star game to celebrate it.

This is the second time in Ogwumike’s career that this has happened. The first time was her rookie season in 2012, when she went on to win Rookie of the Year.

It’s a shame, because Ogwumike is setting WNBA records, marking new career-highs and establishing her place in league history through the season’s first 17 games. All while making a case for the coveted league MVP award.

Ogwumike leads the WNBA in field goal percentage with a 69.9% clip from the floor, and also has the opportunity to break the league record of a 66.8 shooting percentage by Tamika Raymond in 2003.

On top of her offensive onslaught towards the league’s records, Ogwumike is also the Sparks’ biggest factor on defense. She has recorded 8 blocks in the past two victories, including a career-best 5 against the Atlanta Dream on June 30. Prior to that, the Sparks haven’t had more than five team blocks in any game.

Ogwumike tied her season-high with 15 rebounds on Sunday against the New York Liberty and set a new career-high mark in scoring with 38 points against the Atlanta Dream on June 30, while also recording a career-best 5 blocks.

Ogwumike doesn’t need to play in a sanctioned exhibition game to validate her status. She is an All-Star and MVP caliber player that, along with Candace Parker, can take the Spark to unprecedented heights this season.

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About: Tony Capobianco

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Sports Kave senior writer and podcast host

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