« Women’s Basketball 2020-21

Michaela Onyenwere

School

University of California, Los Angeles

Position
Forward
Major
Sociology

Classroom

Onyenwere is on track to graduate from the top public university in the nation with a degree in sociology and a minor in african american studies.

Her aspirations outside of basketball include becoming a dentist like her aunt. Onyenwere has shadowed her aunt before to learn about the profession and still has desires to enter the field.

Character

Onyenwere has demonstrated strong character and leadership throughout since arriving to the UCLA women’s basketball program. She serves as a team captain and has strong leadership qualities on and off the court.

She has been a crucial mentor to sophomore guard Charisma Osborne, who has blossomed into the future of our program under Onyenwere’s guidance. Similarly, she has also made it a point to help newly-arrived freshman Dominique Darius as she quickly adjusts to college life mid-way through the 2020-21 season.

Onyenwere’s cooperation with speaking to local and national media outlets as the face of our team has been excellent. She is a regular participant in our weekly media sessions and is a wonderful ambassador for our program.

Community

Onyenwere has had a tremendous impact on UCLA women’s basketball’s social justice efforts this season, helping establish the team’s More Than a D.R.E.A.M. initiative in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Onyenwere and her teammates have created this initiative to raise awareness to racial injustice and promote prominent Black societal figures, as well as highlight Black-owned businesses in Los Angeles. The group has also created social media content published on the UCLA women’s basketball social media platforms.

She has helped lead discussions with team alumni about racial injustices and the future of Black culture in the United States.

Competition

Onyenwere has become one of the all-time greats to play at UCLA, currently ranking 14th on UCLA’s all-time scoring list with 1,600 points. Onyenwere earned third team AP All-America honors following the 2019-20 season and has garnered All-Pac-12 acclaim in back-to-back seasons.

Onyenwere opened the 2020-21 season as a preseason AP All-American and garnered spots on the following watch lists: Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award, Wade, Watch, and Cheryl Miller Award. She is averaging 18.9 points per game for the second-straight season after improving her scoring output from 6.9 ppg as a freshman and 18.3 ppg as a sophomore. Onyenwere is second in the Pac-12 in scoring and rebounding (8.4 rpg) and has already earned Pac-12 Player of the Week accolades.

Across her career with the Bruins, Onyenwere has started 74 of her 108 games and racked up 72 double-digit scoring performances, including 27 double-doubles and three 30+ point games. She helped lead UCLA to Elite 8 and Sweet 16 appearances in her freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively, while helping the Bruins to a 26-5 record in her junior campaign before the NCAA Tournament was canceled.