Olayinka Sanni is the daughter of Olatunji and Olubunmi Sanni, immigrants from Nigeria. Born in Chicago Heights, Illinois, she has dual citizenship.
Yinka attented Homewood-Flossmoor high school in Illinois. She averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks per game, and was ranked the 26th-best center in the nation by All Star Girl’s Report. Sanni led her high school to three conference championships.
Sanni attended West Virginia University from 2004-2008, where she majored in communications. She played basketball for the Mountaineers under coach Mike Carey.
During her Mountaineer career, Yinka played into the record books. She scored 1,602 career points, seventh all-time in the school’s history. She played in 129 games, second-most in school history, and her 773 career rebounds are the sixth-most. She finished her career as WVU’s single-game, single-season and career-field goal percentage leader.
She also played for the Nigerian National team in 2006, and 2007, when the team attempted to qualify for the 2008 Olympics.
Yinka was chosen in the second round of the 2008 WNBA draft by the Atlanta Dream, but then traded to the Detroit Shock. She was the overall #18 pick.