Before becoming a seasoned professional basketball player and earning her place as a two-time Olympian, Promise Amukamara first made waves in track and field.

Former Arizona State women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne vividly recalls encountering a young Amukamara during her junior year at Glendale Apollo High School back in 2010. At the time, Promise was gaining recognition primarily for her track accomplishments.

Her older sister, Precious, had already established herself as a standout sprinter at Apollo, claiming seven AIA state championships before continuing her career at GCU.

Following in Precious’s footsteps, Promise also excelled in track, winning the 100 meters at the Division II state championships during her senior year.

Their athletic lineage traces back to their mother, Christy (formerly Nwachukwu), an Olympic-caliber sprinter who represented Nigeria in track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Now, at 31 years old, Promise is poised to continue her family’s Olympic legacy as she prepares to compete for Nigeria on the women’s basketball team at the 2024 Paris Olympics. This marks her second Olympic appearance after participating in Tokyo in 2021.

Promise’s journey to the Olympics wasn’t foreseen over a decade ago, particularly not in basketball.

“I knew her sisters were track stars who also played basketball,” Turner Thorne told The Republic. “She was local and always a track star, not heavily recruited because she wasn’t widely known.”

Apollo’s appearance at ASU’s team camp caught Turner Thorne’s attention, with Promise and her younger sister, Peace, showcasing their skills. Impressed by Promise’s performance, Turner Thorne invited her to ASU’s elite camp.

“She performed exceptionally well, which piqued my interest even more,” Turner Thorne recalled. “I watched every game she played in July. I didn’t want to miss out on such a talented athlete in our own backyard.”

Turner Thorne’s initial intrigue blossomed into admiration as she witnessed Promise’s dedication, skill, and work ethic.

“She was an exceptional athlete with innate qualities you can’t teach,” Turner Thorne remarked. “I closely followed her journey and was captivated by her commitment, demeanor, and impressive skill set. I took charge of recruiting her because I was so impressed and intrigued.”