3 Chisa Ononiwu
Birth Date: 01/21/1986
Height: 5-7
Year: Senior
Hometown: Houston, Texas
High School: Westfield HS
Previous College: Baylor Univ.
Position: Guard
Chisa To The Rescue
After transferring to UCSB from Baylor in the winter quarter of 2006, sitting out the entire 2005-06 season, and watching as the first nine games of 2006-07 from the sidelines while she waited to become eligible, Chisa Ononiwu was chomping at the bit with anticipation for her debut in the blue and gold at Pepperdine December 18. The native of Houston, Tex. came off the bench less than two minutes into the game and made an immediate impact with a driving three-point play along the baseline with 13:26 left to play in the first half. Ononiwu went on to finish with 11 points on 3-for-7 shooting with five rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 29 minutes to help lead the Gauchos back from a 15-point deficit and win 78-67. The win would prove to be a turning point in UCSB's season as the Gauchos, who were just 3-6 to start the season without Ononiwu, finished 16-8 with her. The Big Three
WIth the win over Pepperdine in Ononiwu's debut, it became very clear that Santa Barbara now had something it had been looking for in the first nine games of the season: a viable third scoring option. Ononiwu went on to play in the final 24 games after becoming eligible on December 18 and started all but four of those contests. She was third on the team in terms of scoring, averaging 11.6 points per game, which complimented Jenna Green's average of 16.6 ppg and Jessica Wilson's 13.0 ppg quite nicely. In fact, the junior trio of Green, Wilson, and Ononiwu accounted for 54.2% of the Gauchos' scoring in 2006-07, averaging over 40 points per contest combined. Individually, Ononiwu ranked second in both field goal percentage (.448) and free throw percentage (.724) and averaged five rebounds per game, which was third behind Green and Wilson, respectively. With the "Big Three" all returning to lead the squad in their senior years, UCSB will be tough to beat in 2007-08. She's Got Range
When she transferred from Baylor, almost all of the talk about Chisa Ononiwu centered around her athletic abilities and how well she could slash and drive to the hoop. There was never any real discussion involving her abilities as a shooter. Well, Ononiwu proved to be better than advertised and turned a lot of heads in Gaucho women's basketball circles with her range from three-point territory in addition to her ability to score inside. Not only did she shoot a very impressive .429 (103-for-230) from the floor overall, Ononiwu made 31 of her 84 attempts from downtown, which was second on the team at .369. She had five performances in which she made three or more treys, including a 5-for-6 barrage in Santa Barbara's win at UC Davis January 13 and an incredible 6-for-8 performance in the Thunderdome against Pacific two weeks later. In the game against the Tigers, Ononiwu finished 9-for-14 overall, went 5-of-6 at the free throw line, and finished with a career-high 29 points -- the second-highest total by a Gaucho of the season. The Houston, Tex. native was the catalyst for UCSB's record-breaking shooting performance that afternoon, as the Gauchos set new school single game records for three-pointers made (14) and three-point percentage (77.8%). 2006-07
After sitting out the first nine games of the season pursuant to D-I transfer rules, Ononiwu quickly established herself as the Gauchos' third scoring option when she became eligible to play December 18...The transfer from Baylor scored 11 points on 3-for-7 shooting with five rebounds and two steals in her debut in the blue and gold, helping lead UCSB to a 78-67 come-from-behind victory at Pepperdine...Appeared in 24 games last season and started 20, including the last 14...Reached double figures in all but eight of her games in 2006-07 and scored 20 or more on three occasions...Exploded for a career-high 29 points after shooting 6-of-8 from behind the three-point arc January 27 against Pacific...Scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds February 3 against UC Davis...Her other 20-point effort was also against the Aggies, as she finished 7-for-10 from the floor and 5-of-6 from distance while dishing out five assists January 13...Racked up a career-high seven helpers February 10 at Long Beach State...Tallied nine points and a career-high 10 rebounds in Santa Barbara's loss to UC Riverside February 24...Made 8-of-13 shots for 16 points with six rebounds, three assists, and tied a personal best with four steals in the Gauchos' win over Cal State Northridge March 3...Went 4-of-7 from downtown and tallied 15 points in a losing effort against UCR in the Big West Tournament title game...Was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts...Third on the team in points (11.6) and rebounding (5.0)...Second shooting a very impressive 44.8% from the field and third from three-point distance at 37%. 2005-06
Joined the Gauchos in January 2006...Sat out the 2005-06 season and missed the early portion of 2006-07 due to NCAA Division I transfer rules. Baylor University
2005-06: Played 13 minutes during Baylor's first exhibition contest, thus exhausting her sophomore season of eligibility. 2004-05: Appeared in 13 games as a true freshman at Baylor University, which culminated with the Lady Bears' first-ever NCAA Championship...Scored 17 total points in 50 minutes played on the season...Personal bests of eight points and five rebounds in a career high 12 minutes of action all came during a home win over Montana State December 29...Also knocked down a pair of three-pointers vs. the Bobcats...Appeared in three of BU's six NCAA Tournament contests, including the national title game victory over Michigan State April 3 where she nabbed a steal in one minute of work...Posted a career-high two steals in a Big 12 Conference victory over Oklahoma State...Earned a spot on the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll in both the fall and spring semesters for maintaining a grade point average above 3.0. High School
A 2004 graduate of Houston's Westfield High School, where she excelled in both basketball and track...Helped the Mustangs capture back-to-back Class 5A state championships as a junior and senior under head coach Susan Smith...Named MVP of the 2004 state title game after scoring 20 points on seven-of-10 shooting, while she averaged 10.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists en route to all-tournament honors...A first team all-state performer as a senior after earning second team all-region acclaim the previous year...First team all-district both seasons...Played in both the TGCA All-Star and Texas-Oklahoma All-Star games following the 2003-04 campaign...Played club basketball for coach Stacy Marshall with the Houston Hoops alongside former Lady Bear and Gaucho Emily Niemann...Set a Westfield school record in the 300 hurdles as a sophomore, and was a regional qualifier in that event for two straight years...Named to the Who's Who Among American High School Students list. Personal
Chisaokwu A. Ononiwu was born on January 21, 1986 in Houston, Texas...Her name is pronounced Chee-sa Oh-na-ne-wu...The daughter of Emmanuel Lazz and Victoria Ononiwu, a native of Nigeria...Has three older siblings, Ike, Ada, and Chidi...Enters her junior year at UCSB as a psychology major...Aspires for a career working with children or helping others, such as a personal trainer...Graduated magna cum lade in the top 10% of her class from Westfield HS...Was also the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) president and a member of the National Honor Society in high school...Lists winning consecutive state championships in high school as her most memorable sporting moment...When she is not playing basketball, she is probably running, watching movies, talking on the phone, reading The Bible, relaxing, shopping, cooking, or having fun...Pulls for the Rockets because she loves Houston, but Dwayne Wade is her favorite athlete...Thinks "White Chicks" is "the funniest movie ever"...Enjoys watching "The FBI Files" and "Unsolved Mysteries" on TV...Her favorite novel is "To Kill a Mockingbird"...Also loves the book of Paul in The Bible...Is a huge fan of Chinese food, especially orange chicken with sweet and sour sauce...Wants people to know that Chisaokwu means "God answers prayers"...In addition to Baylor, she was also recruited by Kansas State, SMU, and TCU as a prepster.