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WNBA Golden State expansion franchise hires Ohemaa Nyanin as general manager

The WNBA is coming to the Bay Area
The WNBA is coming to the Bay Area 03:07

WNBA Golden State has named Ohemaa Nyanin as the team's general manager, the franchise announced Monday.

Nyanin will oversee all basketball operations, inclusive of roster construction, team building and player development. She will report to Warriors co-executive chairman and CEO Joe Lacob and will begin her tenure with the team next week.

"Ohemaa is the perfect fit to lead our WNBA basketball operations as we prepare for our inaugural season in 2025," Lacob said. "As we moved through the GM hiring process, it became more apparent each day how impressive and well-versed Ohemaa is in all facets of the business, and as a person. She brings an incredible knowledge of the WNBA and international women's basketball landscape from her time with the Liberty and USA Basketball. Additionally, she has a deep passion and desire to build a strong culture and, ultimately, win basketball games. We are thrilled to welcome her to Golden State."

Nyanin joins WNBA Golden State from the New York Liberty, where she spent more than five years in a variety of capacities, most recently as the team's assistant general manager.

Ohemaa Nyanin, general manager of the WNBA Golden State expansion franchise. WNBA Golden State via Bay City News

"I am truly honored to be chosen as the first general manager of WNBA Golden State," Nyanin said. "Throughout the interview process, it was clear that bringing a WNBA team to the Bay Area was meticulously thought out and those involved are motivated changemakers who will be proactive in growing the league. I look forward to joining this franchise and building a competitive basketball team that the fans deserve."

The team will begin play in 2025 and still hasn't announced its name. The franchise has hired Jess Smith as its president and Kimberly Veale as senior vice president of marketing and communications. The team has already sold more than 7,000 season tickets. Lacob once again said he expected the team to win a championship within its first five years.

"This team is going to be a compilation of everyone in this room. Have to hire some people," Nyanin said. "Really just working with the team to recruit the best basketball minds, the best artistic minds, the best eclectic minds to build the strongest team in the W."

With the GM hired, the next step will be to find a coach.

"It's my job. So yeah, I got to get started. The timeline is fluid. We want the best coach possible," Nyanin said. "With some flexibility from our team I think we'll wait for the hire. We want the best person.

"I'm looking for a person who is unafraid to embrace the unknown. Someone who has the history of understanding the game."

Prior to her time with the Liberty, Nyanin spent five years as USA Basketball's assistant director of the women's national team where she led youth national teams to international competitions, managing delegation logistics and serving as a translator in Spanish-speaking countries.

Nyanin thanked the Liberty and their GM, Jonathan Kolb, in her introductory news conference for giving her a chance.

"Ohemaa was my first call in 2019 and we have shared an unbreakable bond ever since," Kolb said. "To say I'm ecstatic is an understatement. Ohemaa effortlessly threads the needle of being authentic while graceful. She is proof positive that if you put in the work, dreams can come true. I consider myself so grateful to have the opportunity to miss someone so much. The 'Golden State' got brighter today. Go shine, O."

Nyanin played an integral role in the USA Basketball Women's National Team winning a gold medal at both the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the 2018 World Cup in Spain.

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