Time Out Session: Wilma Afunugo

Seattle University’s women’s basketball team player Wilma Afunugo has been named a nominee for the 2016 Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBAC) Good Works Team for her achievements as a leader both on and off the court. Nominees for this team are chosen based off their community involvement and volunteerism and their aim to create a better society. Afunugo displays these distinctive qualities through her volunteer work at Harborview Medical Center, where she assists patients in the ICU, creating a home away from home for the patients.


Wilma Afunugo, a forward and center player for Seattle University’s Women’s Basketball. Afunugo is a junior studying cell and molecular biology.

“I really like doing that a lot, just interacting with them, it’s really eye opening for me to see that.” Afunugo said.

A junior cell and molecular biology major, Afunugo sees her work at Harborview as helping her get closer to her dream of becoming a doctor.
“It’s really helped me see what my future holds and also see what people go through on the daily, because sometimes we’re just confined in our world and don’t want to see what actually happens in the real world, Afunugo said. “It makes me work harder in class, because I really want to strive to be that person that helps”

Afunugo plans to take a year off after graduating from Seattle U, where she will later apply for medical school and then residency. In her year off, Afunugo hopes to be a scribe, otherwise known as a doctor’s assistant. If all goes to plan, Afunugo sees this as a way to discern what her dreams have in store for her.

Afunugo’s basketball career first started in the seventh grade. It wasn’t until eighth grade that she realized she had real potential in the sport and decided to pursue it. Afunugo played throughout high school and seeing the opportunities that the Seattle U coaching staff and basketball team offered, chose to continue playing basketball at Seattle U. Since attending Seattle U, Afunugo has noticed herself becoming a better player.

“I felt like in high school, my basketball IQ wasn’t all that great, but coming here you learn whole different ways to play basketball that you thought you knew… brand new ways to play and I like that a lot,” Afunugo said.

Afunugo expressed that in high school, you learn how to play, but not why you should play it. In college, though, she has found that her coaches have explained the reasoning behind the plays and not only focused on her skills but also on her strength both physically and mentally, which have improved her skills as a player.

“Lifting is a big aspect of college, just getting stronger for me was very important… and I feel like our strength and conditioning coaches have really helped me with that and I think that’s one I needed a lot, transitioning from high school to college,” Afunugo said.

When Afunugo isn’t on the court or giving her time at the ICU, she enjoys unwinding like most others would. She can be found watching movies, three of her favorites being D’Jango, 12 Years a Slave and the Dark Knight, or listening to music. Afunugo enjoys a variety of genres ranging from hip-hop to country.

Afunugo excels both on court and in the classroom. Driven with focus and confidence, she aims to always give it her all, pushing herself both physically and mentally. If she were to be remembered for one thing, Afunugo hopes it would be for her hard work. “I never go 50 percent or 75 percent, always 100.”

Shelby can be reached at [email protected]