WNBA

Chiney Ogwumike’s WNBA career isn’t slowing her ESPN rise

The word trailblazer gets used in many contexts now, but it definitely applies to Chiney Ogwumike.

An active player and two-time All-Star in the WNBA, Ogwumike joined ESPN in 2015 as a women’s basketball analyst. She became a full-time contributor at ESPN — while maintaining her WNBA career — in 2018. Wednesday night will be her first appearance on “NBA Countdown,” the network’s pregame show, as a regular analyst.

She spoke to The Post about what made her take on the responsibilities of being a talking head while still early in her active playing career.

“It just became an avenue where I felt my voice was needed in the sense where we, especially this rising generation, are trying to make our mark,” the Los Angeles Sparks forward said. “If I’m able to join the conversation as it pertains to the NBA — and make people think ‘oh, she might not

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Phoenix Mercury hold off Chicago Sky in overtime in Game 2 to even WNBA Finals

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Mercury rallied in the fourth quarter Wednesday night and Diana Taurasi starred in overtime to edge the Chicago Sky 91-86 and even the WNBA Finals at 1-1.

Game 3 of the best-of-5 series is Friday in Chicago.

Leading 63-57 after the third quarter, the Sky turned back a Mercury charge led by Taurasi on consecutive 3-pointers by Stefanie Dolson and Allie Quigley and appeared to lead 72-65 with 5:57 left.

After a replay review, though, a Diamond DeShields 3-pointer was ruled to be after the shot clock, cutting the Sky lead to four.

Brianna Turner scored on an alley-oop pass from Skylar Diggins-Smith, followed by a Brittney Griner 3-point play, putting the Mercury ahead 70-69 at 4:39.

Brittney Griner, left, had a game-high 29 points and Skylar Diggins-Smith had 13 for the Mercury in their Game 2 win.

Brittney Griner, left, had a game-high 29 points and Skylar Diggins-Smith had 13 for the Mercury in their Game 2 win.

Quigley answered for the Sky with a 3-pointer,

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2021 WNBA Playoffs first-round takeaways: Mercury escape in thriller over Liberty; Sky pull away from Wings

The 2021 WNBA Playoffs got underway on Thursday night with the single-elimination first round, and the second game of the doubleheader between the Phoenix Mercury and New York Liberty was a showcase for this format. After a thrilling, back-and-forth fourth quarter, the Mercury escaped with an 83-82 win thanks to a last-second free throw by Brianna Turner.

Skylar Diggins Smith went for 22 points, four rebounds and five assists, while Brittney Griner added 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. But it was Sophie Cunningham who stole the show, stepping up in the absence of Diana Taurasi to bury six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 21 points. 

The first game of the night was not quite so dramatic. While the Chicago Sky did allow the Dallas Wings to get back in the game in the second half, they pulled away in the fourth quarter to make sure they would

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WNBA All-Star team defeats U.S. women’s Olympic basketball team in All-Star Game

LAS VEGAS — In the fourth quarter, Arike Ogunbowale was the best player on the court between 24 of the best players on the planet.

Ogunbowale, the Dallas Wings star, scored nine of her game-high 26 points in the final quarter and Courtney Williams iced the game with a last-minute layup to push Team WNBA over Team USA 93-85 in the 17th WNBA All-Star Game Wednesday at the Michelob ULTRA Arena.

Ogunbowale, who said on Tuesday she would be content with just 10 points, won the All-Star MVP award with her red-hot shooting performance in her first all-star appearance in front of a crowd of 5,175.

“It just turned out I scored a little bit more,” Ogunbowale said.

That award was the most normal aspect of an unusual All-Star Game, which was anything but the friendly exhibition between the WNBA’s best that most all-star games become.

Team WNBA outlasted the

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