ABOUT ARIKE

A fierce competitor and jaw-dropping performer, Arike Ogunbowale is a professional basketball player for the WNBA's Dallas Wings. The Milwaukee native first picked up a basketball at the age of three, tossing mini basketballs into a small blue and orange Fisher-Price basketball hoop. That was the beginning of Arike's love for the game and her journey toward stardom.

 

Arike’s professional career began when she was selected No. 5 overall in the 2019 WNBA Draft by the Wings. She then produced one of the league’s most impressive rookie campaigns and was named runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award. Her collegiate career was equally as remarkable and included a National Championship and a historic four years at Notre Dame, and her international career has featured five USA Basketball medals (four gold, one silver) and competitions in six foreign countries.

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Although talented from a young age, Ogunbowale’s impact at Notre Dame is what truly catapulted her into the spotlight. A school hero, Arike made two miraculous shots in the waning seconds of down-to-the-wire games in both the 2018 NCAA Women’s Semifinal match and then again two days later in the National Championship game. Her performances earned her the 2018 Final Four Most Outstanding Player award and landed her a spot on the Ellen DeGeneres show as well as recognition from and a meeting with her longtime idol, Kobe Bryant.

 
 

Her performance also led to a spot on season 26 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, where she partnered with pro Gleb Savchenko. Arike was the first active NCAA athlete to compete on the show while maintaining her amateur status. While she had to keep up with all of her school work between show rehearsals, performances and travel, Arike handled it with focus and diligence, setting an amazing example of what’s possible for student-athletes. After four years, Arike left Notre Dame as the program’s all-time leading scorer, finishing with 2,626 career points. She also holds the record for career-made field goals with 954 and started 102 straight games—the second most consecutive starts in program history.


Arike comes from a long line of athletes. She is the youngest of three children and one of her older brothers, Dare, was a running back for the University of Wisconsin and now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Her mother, Yolanda, was a softball pitcher at DePaul University and her father, Gregory, played soccer and rugby. Away from the court, Arike is very active in numerous community service projects including Special Olympics and the Ronald McDonald House.

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ACCOLADES

  • 2019 WNBA All-Rookie 

  • 2019 Dallas Wings leading scorer (19.1 ppg)

  • 2019 third-leading WNBA scorer

  • Third-most rookie points in WNBA history (630)

  • Only WNBA rookie with multiple games of 35+ points

  • 30+ points in 4 straight games in 2019, tying WNBA record

  • No. 5 pick in 2019 WNBA Draft 

  • 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy Finalist for NCAA Women’s Player of the Year 

  • 2019 All-American, ACC First Team All-Conference 

  • Five-time USA Basketball medalist 

  • Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer (2,626 points) 

  • Most career-made field goals (954) in Notre Dame history 

  • Most career games with double-digit points (127) in Notre Dame history 

  • First player in Notre Dame history to surpass 2,500 points

  • 2018 ESPYS Best Play Award winner

  • 2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball National Champion

  • 2018 Final Four Most Outstanding Player

  • 2018 ACC Female Athlete of the Year

  • 2018 Naismith Trophy semifinalist 

  • 2015 McDonald’s High School All-American 

  • 2015 Wisconsin Miss Basketball 

  • 2013, 2014, 2015 Gatorade Wisconsin High School Player of the Year

 

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