The Arizona State women’s basketball team has never produced an Olympian.
That is until Promise Amukamara competes in Tokyo this summer for the Nigerian national team. She’s honored to carry the Sun Devil legacy into Olympic play.
Still can’t believe I’m really about to be in the Olympics! That’s crazyyyyyy.
— Promise Amukamara (@iPromisee) June 21, 2021
“I’m excited to be at the biggest stage of sports,” Amukamara said. “I’m looking forward to playing against the U.S.A. It was a close game at the Olympic qualifiers. You all should tune in.”
Her brother, Prince Amukamara, has a Super Bowl ring from 2011 with the New York Giants. Promise says an Olympic medal would give her bragging rights as the best athlete in her family.
Her professional journey
In 2015, Amukamara was drafted with the final pick of the WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury. She then began playing overseas in numerous countries to build upon her skillset.
While moving overseas wasn’t ideal, she’s gained a vast amount of experience that is ultimately helping prepare her for Tokyo.
“A difficult part of my career is playing over seas and being away from my family,” Amukamara said. “Playing long seasons is the difficult part of this whole ride. Nevertheless I’m so grateful and honored to be in the position I’m in.”
Leading up to qualifiers, Amukamara played for Nigeria’s World Cup team 2018 and in the 2019 Afrobasket Championship. during hose tournamnets and Olympic qualifiers, the Nigerians secured their first Olympic berth since 2004.
Playing for Nigeria is a dream come true for Amukamara, who also hopes this stage aids her journey towards making the WNBA at 28-years-old.
“One of my main goals is to get back to the WNBA and hopefully make a team,” Amukamara said. “I compete with others from the WNBA overseas so I feel like getting another shot at the WNBA would be one of my main goals from this.”
At the qualifiers, Nigeria played well. Their performance garnered respect from numerous others, including coach Sandy Brondello and the U.S Olympic team. In February 2020 during a FIBA tournamnet in Serbia, Nigeria lost 76-71 to the U.S. However, the game began giving this team confidence that they can compete with anyone, Amukamara says.