Sparks' Chiney Ogwumike Named Co-Host of National ESPN Radio Show

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 7, 2020

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 14: Chiney Ogwumike attends the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game 2020 Presented By Ruffles at Wintrust Arena on February 14, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

ESPN revealed its new national weekday radio lineup Tuesday, and Los Angeles Sparks power forward and ESPN basketball analyst Chiney Ogwumike is prominently featured as co-host of the upcoming Chiney and Golic Jr. show, which will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.  

Per Disrupt the Game, Ogwumike is the first Black woman and first WNBA player to co-host a national daily ESPN Radio show.

Ogwumike, who will be alongside ex-Notre Dame football player and ESPN analyst Mike Golic Jr., offered the following comments, per the ESPN press release.

"I cherish this moment and opportunity, now more than ever," Ogwumike said. "To co-host a daily, national platform is a reflection of ESPN’s understanding that voices like mine matter. I am thrilled to represent this rising generation alongside my new teammate Golic Jr., a close friend and exceptional talent."

ESPN provided a rundown of what fans should expect, as well as a preview of Ogwumike's contributions elsewhere:

"The duowho regularly contribute to ESPN’s digital shows surrounding major events and the network’s additional studio programming—will engage with fans while discussing topics of the day and looking ahead at the night’s events. Ogwumike will also regularly appear on SportsCenter, Get Up, First Take, WNBA and NBA programming and provide analysis for men’s college basketball."

Ogwumike, who left Stanford six years ago as the Pac-12's all-time leading scorer, went first overall to the Connecticut Sun in the 2014 WNBA draft. The two-time All-Star has averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds on 55.6 percent shooting for the Sun and Sparks, who dealt a first-round pick for Ogwumike in April 2019.

Ogwumike is sitting out the 2020 WNBA season for medical reasons, per a Sparks press release on June 26. She said the following regarding the decision in the presser:

"If you know me, you know that I have overcome some of the biggest challenges an athlete can face on the court. My previous injuries have given me strength and built character, but unfortunately they require me to be careful with my preparation leading up to a season. This year is unprecedented in many ways, therefore my team and I have come to the decision to be proactively cautious and put my body first.

"I am so lucky to have an organization that believes in me and supports me as a player and as a person. I fully believe this team will win a championship this year and I will be rooting for them every step along the way. As much as I want to compete and win with my sister, I know it is best for me to sit this one out. I will continue to use all my platforms to elevate and empower my teammates and fellow players in the WNBA as we continue to fight for our communities. This isn't goodbye, it's just see you later."

However, the ESPN Radio opportunity has appeared with Ogwumike sitting out the campaign, and she posted this on Twitter when the news became official:

Chiney Ogwumike @Chiney321

I’ve got news: pressing pause on playing ball this season was tough, but sometimes taking a step back can lead to an unexpected step forward. I am thrilled to co-host a new daily, national radio show for @ESPN. Ready to rep this generation and show that voices like mine matter. https://t.co/cRqtLzUw5l

Golic Jr. responded:

Mike Golic Jr @mikegolicjr

lots of complicated feelings today, but one that isn’t complicated at all is how pumped I am to get to work with this legend every day. Chiney is the best there is 👑 https://t.co/Qu0XKXPs5L

The new radio lineup will start on Monday, August 17, which is the first scheduled day of the 2020 NBA playoffs.

The Max Kellerman Show will precede Chiney and Golic Jr. from 2 to 4 p.m. ET, and Sarah Spain and Jason Fitz will follow the duo from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Spain and Fitz.