SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After serving two seasons as the video coordinator at Gonzaga, Nneka Enemkpali (NECK-uh in-em-PAHL-ee), will join the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball program as an assistant coach, announced by head coach Bonnie Henrickson on Wednesday.
While at Gonzaga, Enemkpali was a part of two West Coast Conference (WCC) Championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances while the Bulldogs posted a 53-13 record. Prior to her time at Gonzaga, Enemkpali had a standout career at the University of Texas, followed by a stint in the WNBA.
"For this hire we spent time evaluating what we would want for this position, and for us, Nneka checked all the boxes and more," said Henrickson. "She has prepared herself by playing at the highest level and has an eagerness to learn and grow in the profession. Her experience as a post player will be an invaluable addition to our staff, while her ability to communicate and her passion for the game will allow her to relate to our student-athletes."
Enemkpali was drafted in the third round (26th overall) of the 2015 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm, but sat out the season due to a knee injury suffered her senior year at Texas. She later signed a seven-day contract with the Minnesota Lynx.
As a player at Texas from 2011-2015, Enemkpali averaged 10.0 points and 8.0 rebounds over her four-year career and finished ranked 10th all-time in Longhorns history in total rebounds (899) and 30th in points (1,116). In addition to being a three-time All-Big 12 and Academic All-Big 12 selection, she was recognized as a Senior CLASS Award Second Team All-American for excellence in the community, classroom, character and competition.
"I'm so grateful to Coach Henrickson and her staff for welcoming me into the Gaucho family," said Enemkpali. "They have provided me with the opportunity to work with and develop a group of talented student-athletes. Coach Henrickson is a great ambassador for the women's game and I have confidence that under her leadership this program will continue to find greater success in the future."
A native of Pflugerville, Texas, she graduated with a degree in African American and African Diaspora Studies and was named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll multiple times.