When you think of basketball, you think of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Steph Curry et al. But today, you need to switch your attention to College ball. Not just college ball, but female College ball where Arike Ogunbowale just announced herself to the world with two clutch performances.
Born to a Nigerian father and an American mom, Arike is the third of three children that were raised on God and sport. Her father, Gregory, played soccer and rugby, while her mother, Yolanda, was a pitcher on the DePaul University softball team and Arike’s grade school basketball coach. Her siblings and cousins are also into sport.
Though an above average football player, Arike’s first passion is basketball and she went all the way for it. As a senior at Divine Savior Holy Angels, she averaged better than 27 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals. The Dashers went on 26-2 win-loss ratio and won their first Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association title that season, when she was chosen for the McDonald’s all-American Game.
She did not stop there.
Next call, college. Being raised on faith, Arike opted for Notre Dame ahead of UCLA, Louisville, Ohio State and Winconsin. She said: “I’ve been going to religious schools my whole life.
“I went to a Lutheran grade school and a Catholic high school. I wanted to keep my faith base strong. “It’s a great school, Hall of Fame coach [Muffet McGraw], great academics. I wanted to go into business and they have the No. 1 business school. It’s an all-around great system.”
Growing up, she played basketball with the boys. Dusted herself up and did not ask or get special treatment. This built her mental strength and made her believe she can hold her own anywhere. Made her one of the top 20 players in College basketball.
All these led to the best 48 hours of her basketball career so far when she scored the winning shot in both the semi-final and final games of the NCAA national championship.
Take a pause to appreciate this. You see, the final shot was taken with just 0.1 seconds left on the clock. That is clutch. That is belief. That is an attitude that speaks trust in her own ability.