Soaring High

Houston-area talent help lift Rice Women's hoops to National Ranking

With the five former teammates back together, the chemistry has helped guide Rice. Via VYPE

Originally Appeared on VYPE


HOUSTON – When they were in high school, Olivia Ogwumike and Nancy Mulkey would talk about one day playing on the same college team.

Along with playing on the same high school team at Cypress Woods, where they won a state championship in 2015, Olivia, sister Erica and Mulkey also played on the same AAU team during the summer.

In the early 2010s, Erica and Olivia Ogwumike and Nancy Mulkey all suited up for Cy Fair Shock Elite along with The Woodlands' Nicole Iademarco.

"I just remember the fun times we had," Erica said. "Not even playing basketball sometimes. AAU you travel around the country, you play in the biggest tournaments and we would have fun just to go eat."

In that same organization, Kinkaid's Jasmine Smith played for the team just below at the time those four were there.

"It was funny because I remember them but they don't remember us," Smith, who is averaging 6.4 points per game, said with a laugh. "I was with the younger group, so we were their practice players. They made us better."

Now in 2019, after going their separate ways after high school, the group is back together at Rice University.

Erica, Iademarco, Mulkey and Smith, who is a freshman, are four of the starting five for the now-nationally ranked Rice Owls.

"We kind of talked about playing together in high school but didn't have the opportunity to right out," Iademarco said. "To be able to all transfer back home and play together has been a really special thing."


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