Houston, TX

Two Houston's Rice alumni showcase their skills at Tokyo Olympics

Marisol Gallagher

Erik Zünder/Unsplash

HOUSTON, TX — Two alumni of Rice’s University, Erica Ogwumike and Ariana Ince, are showcasing their skills at Tokyo Olympics 2021. Ogwumike is playing basketball for the Nigerian national team, while Ince is throwing the javelin as part of the United States track and field team.

Ogwumike played for the Owls from 2017-20 and won back-to-back Conference USA Player of the Year awards in her final two seasons. She led her team to two C-USA championships and was a top Rice player in points per game, second in rebounds per game and third in free-throw percentage numbers. Later, she was selected in the 2020 WNBA Draft but decided to pursue a medical career.

Ince is an impressive all-around athlete who took a circuitous route to javelin. Initially, she started as a pole vaulter and achieved the C-USA indoor and outdoor titles in 2010 and 2011 while helping the Owls win team championships during those indoor seasons.

After switching to the javelin, she took second place at the C-USA outdoor meet her junior year and 14th at the NCAA West Prelims her senior year.

“If you had told me my freshman year at Rice that I would be an Olympian, I would have been surprised. If you had told me my first Olympic team wouldn’t be until I was 32, in an event I didn’t even do yet and after a global pandemic I would have laughed at you,” Ince told RiceOwls.com after her selection.

“Rice was so instrumental both for introducing me to a new event but also supporting me in my training long after I graduated. I’m thrilled to represent Rice and the USA on a global stage.”

Another former Owl, Arsalan Kazemi, is also representing Iran in men’s basketball. He played at Rice from 2009 to 2012 before transferring to the University of Oregon.

You can watch their performance online at NBCOlympics.com.

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