Langley Announces Addition of Ogwumike Sisters

April 14, 2016

By: Kenny Bybee (

-- Rice University women's basketball has signed sisters Olivia and Erica Ogwumike from Pepperdine University, head coach Tina Langley announced on Thursday. Olivia, a 5'11" forward, and Erica, a 5'9" freshman guard, will sit out the 2016-17 season in accordance with the NCAA transfer rules before stepping on the court as a junior and sophomore, respectively, in 2017-18.

"We are thrilled that Olivia and Erica Ogwumike are returning to Houston and will be joining our Rice family," said Langley. "It's important to us that we bring in student-athletes who represent the culture and excellence of Rice University, and the Ogwumike family epitomizes those qualities. Erica and Olivia are more than just great basketball players; they will also excel in the classroom, and become leaders in our community. I couldn't be more excited for our team and for the future of Rice women's basketball.

Olivia and Erica are the younger sisters of current WNBA players and former Stanford standouts Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike.

Olivia Ogwumike -- 5-11 -- Forward
Hometown: Cypress, Texas
Previous School: Pepperdine
High School: Cypress Woods
AAU: Cy-Fair Shock Nike Elite

Olivia Ogwumike started in 12 of 16 games played as a sophomore at Pepperdine, averaging 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while playing 23 minutes per game. She also earned WCC All-Academic honorable mention honors posting a 3.54 GPA while majoring in psychology. As a freshman Olivia averaged 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while making 20 starts and earning a spot on the WCC All-Freshman team.

Ogwumike played both basketball (four years) and volleyball (three years) at Cypress Woods HS, helping the Wildcats reach the 5-A Region III basketball final her senior season. As a senior, she helped lead the team to a 32-6 record by averaging 8.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and posted career averages of 7.2 points and 6.7 rebounds. Cy Woods had two 30-win seasons during her tenure and compiled a total of 117 wins in her four years.

As a three-year volleyball standout, Ogwumike posted a total of 277 kills and 115 total blocks before concentrating solely on basketball as a senior.

Olivia Ogwumike on Rice: "My decision to attend Rice University was to allow myself to be placed in the best position to pursue my goals in the medical field, as well as excel in a distinguished basketball program, while surrounded by family and friends. Rice University epitomizes community, academics and offers an interesting diverse student body that I'm excited to become a part of. I'm excited to become a Rice Owl and look forward to what the future has in store for me!"

Erica Ogwumike -- 5-9 -- Guard
Hometown: Cypress, Texas
Previous School: Pepperdine
High School: Cypress Woods
AAU: Cy-Fair Shock Nike Elite

As a freshman Erica Ogwumike earned All-West Coast Conference first-team honors and was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team. Ogwumike led the team and was second in the WCC with 18.4 points per game, which ranked fifth-best by any freshman in the country last season. She also led Pepperdine in both rebounding (7.5) and steals (1.9) per game.

Ogwumike posted 13, 20-point games in 2015-16 and had a team-best seven double-doubles. She recorded a season-high 34 points at Portland and poured in 30 points in an upset over Saint Mary's late in the season.

Ogwumike played four varsity seasons for Cypress Woods HS, where she was ranked Top 100 nationally on ESPN's player rankings and was a McDonald's All-American Nominee. A two-sport athlete, Erica excelled at both basketball (four years) and volleyball in high school. She scored 2,227 career points (Cy Woods record) and racked up 1,141 career rebounds and 440 steals. Ogwumike helped lead the Wildcats to a 2015 6A state championship title where she was named MVP while also garnering 2015 All-Greater Houston Area Player of the Year and 17-6A District MVP honors.

Erica Ogwumike on Rice: "The real question I should have asked myself during this decision is "Why NOT Rice?". Rice University embodies everything I am looking for in order to be a successful student athlete. The academic rigor, the basketball program, and the numerous opportunities I have to volunteer in the community and join organizations is amazing. I chose Rice because I know that the opportunities that Rice University gives me will last longer than merely four years. Also, what makes this decision even sweeter is I'm joining an excellent program that is in my hometown, Houston, Texas."





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