Will Dallas Wings star Arike Ogunbowale join Dallas Maverick Luka Doncic as 2019 rookie of the year?
Like most Dallas sports fans, I spent this past Sunday in Arlington, Texas. Unlike most Dallas sports fans, I didn’t make the trip to watch the Dallas Cowboys give the New York Giants their annual beating in AT&T stadium. I was about ten minutes away in the College Park Center to see Arike Ogunbowale and the Dallas Wings play the Seattle Storm.
I wanted to see this game live, not just for the chance to see a great pro basketball game in August, but also so the Minnesota Lynx wouldn’t take any shots at me for showing Arike Ogunbowale some much deserved Dallas love.
Soon Dallas, Texas could be home to the NBA and WNBA rookies of the year for the 2019 season. Arike Ogunbowale is a 5’8″ guard who was drafted by the Dallas Wings with the fifth pick in last year’s WNBA draft. Who like fellow rookie sensation Luka Doncic, has displayed superstar talent long before having record setting rookie seasons.
Arike Ogunbowale, younger sister of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Dare Ogunbowale, has been a problem on the basketball court for a long time. While attending Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Arike Ogunbowale was a three time Gatorade state player of the year. In her senior season Arike won a state title after leading her team with 29 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.8 assist, and 2.5 steals. She would also be named Wisconsin’s Miss Basketball and a McDonald’s All American before taking her talents to South Bend to play for the University of Notre Dame.
In her junior season at Notre Dame, Arike hit the biggest shot of her life with a game winner in the semi-finals against UConn. She would then top it with another huge shot against Mississippi State to win the National Championship.
Arike Ogunbowale would go on to be named the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference female athlete of the year. In her senior season Arike would once again lead the fighting Irish to the national championship game, but came up a late game free throw short after scoring 31 points against the Baylor Bears.
When watching Arike Ogunbowale the first thing you notice is her swagger. Off the court, this fellow sneakerhead exudes a confidence and cool that is undeniable. On the court she has an ice in her veins killer mentality reminiscent of her favorite player Kobe Bryant. This season Arike lived up to the number 24 on her jersey setting WNBA rookie records with four straight 30 point games and 11 straight 20 point games for a Dallas Wings team riddled with injuries.
Arike Ogunbowale’s scoring ability despite being the focal point for opposing defenses is incredible. She splits double teams with so much regularity that it makes me wonder why the other coach bothers sending it. Arike Ogunbowale can score on all three levels, almost at will. She has craftiness, control of pace, and balance similar to Luka Doncic that makes it nearly impossible to keep her from getting the shot she wants. She also has a wet jumper off of the stepback like James Harden, without the travel making her a handful for defenders.
More from Dallas Mavericks
- The Dallas Mavericks accomplished a lot on Draft Day
- Mavericks pairing Luka Doncic and Draymond Green a technical (foul) disaster
- Can the Mavericks steal Deandre Ayton from cap-strapped Suns?
- Dallas Mavericks: Top-5 options for the Mavs to explore in the NBA Draft
- Dallas Mavericks can’t keep pick No. 10 in the NBA Draft
With team leader and starting point guard Skyler Diggins-Smith out of the line up, Arike Ogunbowale was asked to take on the role of primary ball handler and scorer. Arike responded by leading the Dallas Wings in minutes(32.1), points(19), and assist(3.2). The Wings had a disappointing season finishing with a 10-24 record. The emergence of Arike Ogunbowale, the expected return of fellow Notre Dame alum Skyler Diggins-Smith and 6’6″ forward Azura Stevens next season, Dallas Wings fans have reason to be excited for the future.
Despite the Wings losing the game 78-64,
Arike Ogunbowale put on show. Finishing with 25 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds, Arike made a strong closing argument for why she should be this year’s WNBA rookie of the year. No matter the outcome the sky is the limit for Arike Ogunbowale. The state of men’s and women’s basketball in Dallas is in good hands for years to come.
Do you love Dallas Sports? Want to start writing about it?
This article is dedicated to my grandfather, Theodore E. Gilmore, the man that taught me to appreciate the WNBA. Like he’d always say “they’d be just as good if the boys could shoot.”
- Published on 09/13/2019 at 11:01 AM
- Last updated at 09/13/2019 at 06:10 AM