Arike Ogunbowale continues dominance at Notre Dame
Notre Dame women's basketball player Arike Ogunbowale continues her dominance this season. The star of last year's semi-final and title games, Arike has made her mark as the go-to player for the Irish.
A magical moment.
"I have taken a lot of crazy shots in practice and when I'm working out by myself, but I didn't actually think it would ever happen in a game," Arike said.
It's not an easy shot - but when it mattered most, Arike found a way to make it twice.
"Two times, winning at the buzzer to win the National Championship," Head Coach Muffet McGraw said.
Since that moment it has been Arike mania from Dancing with the Stars to an ESPY Award.
Everyone wants a piece of Arike.
"People, like kids at camp will be like 'Can you sign my arm?' I'm like 'I don't think your mom would want me to do that.' But, a lot of things like that. I mean I'll definitely say 'No.' But I'll sign a piece of paper but I don't want to sign anybody's body," Arike said.
Arike has taken her sudden popularity in stride.
"She handles the spotlight extremely well. She is very grounded. Her parents did a phenomenal job raising her. And she can enjoy the celebrity status that she's obtained but at the same time, she can get back in the gym and be the hardest worker in there," Coach McGraw said.
It's a new season and now the Irish are defending their national title.
It's not without road blocks.
"She knows, 1. Everybody's coming in, not just for us but for her. They're going to say 'I'm going to shut her down.' And so her defense is going to be the best defender on the team, they're not going to let her get the ball. So I think she's going to have to manage a little bit of frustration, not being able to get the ball as much as she did last year," Coach McGraw said.
The 18 point loss to UConn was a teaching a moment- after the confrontation with Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma.
Coach McGraw tweeted an apology to fans "It's not always about whether you win or lose but it's always about how you play the game."
A moment Arike and her teammates have grown from.
Arike leads the team- averaging 24 points with nearly 6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
"I think she is the most exciting player in college basketball but it's so fun for me to hear her out there leading the team, saying 'Hey, take your time. Last shot. Let's work this offense.' And certainly, she's learned a lot in the process but really she has come so far and learned so much in so many ways: her maturity, how she's represented Notre Dame and really, the sport of women's basketball. Phenomenal," Coach McGraw said.
Coach McGraw recently picked up her 900th win.