Basketball player for the WNBA’s Dallas Wings
There was just one second left on the clock in overtime when Arike Ogunbowale hit a seemingly impossible pull-up jumper that would win the Final Four game against Connecticut and make her a household name. For Ogunbowale, such a feat did not seem impossible because of her belief in her limitless potential. After playing college basketball for Notre Dame, Ogunbowale was drafted by the Wings with the fifth overall pick of the 2019 WNBA Draft. The point guard leads all players in scoring with 24.6 points a game on 44 percent shooting.
Off the court, Kobe Bryant gifted her with a jersey on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She’s competed on Dancing With the Stars, making her the first active NCAA athlete to compete on the show. Ogunbowale was born in Milwaukee and is the youngest of three children. Her mother Yolanda played softball at DePaul University and her brother Dare played football at the University of Wisconsin. For this WNBA player, basketball is only one component of how she will use her talents.
You were the first rookie in WNBA history to score 30+ points in three games in a row. Where does that drive come from when you’re on the court? How do you motivate yourself?
I’ve always been really motivated to be great in anything I do. I have a lot of confidence in myself, so every time I step on the court, I have the mindset that I cannot be stopped — whether it’s true or not. I love the game of basketball and I’m extremely competitive, so that’s enough to motivate me on its own.
How do you prepare for a game?
I don’t do anything extraordinary to prepare for games. I eat a good meal, listen to music, warm up, then I’m ready to play.
What are you passionate about outside of the court?
I really like fashion and I plan to get into that more in whatever ways I can. I’m excited to start that journey as I get more established.
What was it like to receive a jersey from Kobe Bryant?
He is someone I’ve watched a lot while growing up. It was a really cool experience to be able to meet and talk with him multiple times and talk about his basketball and life journey.
What was your favorite moment of being part of Dancing with the Stars?
Being able to be around all of those amazing athletes in their respective sports. It was pure greatness, every one of them. It inspired me to want to be great and have a really successful career similar to them. I’m glad I got to experience that at a young age. On the dancing side, that was a once in a lifetime experience and definitely something I will remember for the rest of my life.
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