On Sunday, she pulled off another last-second three-pointer to lead Notre Dame to a thrilling 61-58 comeback victory over Mississippi State in final.
The win gave Notre Dame, their first women’s basketball title since 2001.
Since her clutch displays over the weekend, Ogunbowale’s name has been everywhere. She is also of particular interest to the Nigerian media because of her name.
So who is really Ogunbowale and how is she connected to Nigeria?
1. Born to Nigerian father
The basketball star’s first name ‘Ogunbowale’ derives from Nigeria where her dad Gregory is from. Ogunbowale is a Yoruba name which means 'something that you see and cherish'.
She the youngest of three kids by Gregory and Yolande Ogunbowale.
2. Her dad Gregory served in the Nigerian army
According to information from several reliable reports, Ogunbowale’s dad once served in the Nigerian Army. The time he served and the capacity is however not known.
3. Ogunbowale played football and she was good at it
Several reports have also said that she was an excellent soccer (football) player while she was growing up.
She won four Wisconsin State Cup championships during her club soccer days with Lake CountryUnited (2010-12) and FC Milwaukee (2009)
“It was definitely tough. I loved soccer. I played it until my sophomore year [of high school]. It was getting really hard to juggle both of them. So I really had to choose one. I definitely miss soccer. But I definitely don’t regret the decision,” she told Time after their Championship win on Sunday.
4. She is currently a major at Notre Dame
Ogunbowale is currently a major at Notre Dame, the school she also plays for.
5. Sporting family
Ogunbowale is not the only person that took to sports in her family. Before her dad joined the Nigerian army Gregory played soccer and rugby.
Her mum Yolanda was a pitcher on the DePaul University softball team and was also Arike’s grade-school basketball coach.
Her older brother, Oluwadare or Dare, is an American football player and was a running back at the University of Wisconsin and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Houston Texans in 2017.
She also has a cousin Diamond Stone who plays in the NBA’s G League.