Chinenye “Chiney” Ogwumike is an American basketball power forward for the Los Angeles Sparks. The two time WNBA All-Star is an ESPN commentator on multiple platforms, who in 2018 became the only full-time professional athlete to hold a national sports media position. The Houston native and Stanford graduate has accomplished so much in her career that fans rejoiced when she publicly announced her engagement and marriage in November 2023. 

Chiney is a Texan of Nigerian descent who now goes by Chiney Akpejiori. The WNBA star’s romance with boxer Raphael Akpejiori began on Hinge and she quickly knew Raphael was a lifelong match. Chiney and Raphael had a slow romance, since their busy careers led them to different parts of the world. Just a year later, the pair was engaged and in November of 2023 were bound in matrimony after a week-long celebration. Chiney is an especially private person (and that worked best for her), so her seemingly sudden marriage surprised many. Here is what we know about her new husband. 

Who is Raphael Akpejiori?

Chiney is no stranger to the public eye but she hadn’t officially announced her life partner even after posting about her engagement. So, it is no surprise that people were intrigued to see stunning photos of Raphael and Chiney the week of their large wedding celebration. Chiney finally posted their professional wedding photos in late November, after a very private dating history so the public got a peek into the lives of the beautiful couple. 

Raphael (whose first name is Ethasor) Akpejiori, is a 6’8 pro boxer and Chiney’s new husband. The heavyweight boxer is also a mechanical engineer and graduated from the University of Miami. With an impressive professional record of 15 out of 16 wins and his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, it is no news that Raphael is a catch. He was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and shares Chiney’s Christian faith. Raphael is a proud Nigerian with the fitting nickname “Nigerian Hurricane” and caught the eye of Chiney in 2022. 

The Akpejiori’s Wedding

The wedding had traditional Nigerian elements that celebrated the couple’s African culture and heritage, like Native clothing and the presentation of the kola nut. To honor both of their Nigerian roots (Igbo and Edo) the couple chose an Igbo venue for the wedding and ornamented themselves with vivid garments and ensembles. Houston is known to have a large population of Nigerians and is considered baby Lagos, so there was no better place to host their five day African matrimonial celebration. The ceremony consisted of many outfit changes and lavish cuisine, in true traditional fashion. The festive wedding had celebrity guests like former WNBA star Lisa Leslie dancing the night away. The couple also honored their American roots with a second traditional western ceremony. 

Instead of the traditional honeymoon, the couple plans to take a series of weekend trips to tropical destinations throughout the new year. After such an extensive celebration of their love, the couple can not wait to continue to build both individual and partnered legacies and plan to have a family.