Arike Ogunbowale has become an overnight sensation. The Notre Dame junior led her team to the NCAA Women’s National Championship on Sunday night in Columbus, Ohio, and in dramatic fashion, Notre Dame took home the title.
With three seconds left in the fourth quarter against Mississippi State, Ogunbowale received the ball and hoisted the game-winning three-point shot with 0.1 on the clock remaining to clinch the national championship.
The buzzer-beating shot garnered attention from NFL stars J.J. Watt and Reggie Bush, along with NBA icon Kobe Bryant.
But the kicker is, Ogunbowale also hit the game-winning shot on Friday during the Final Four semifinal with Bryant in the stands.
In a shocking upset, Notre Dame beat the undefeated University of Connecticut, which advanced the Irish to the finals. The guard hit the game winner with one second left in overtime.
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So how did Ogunbowale pull off this SportsCenter Top 10-making play? It’s simple — mamba mentality.
Ogunbowale said after the victory vs. UConn, “I went into mamba mentality. Kobe’s here, so that’s what I tried to channel.”
And if the former Los Angeles Laker wasn’t aware of Ogunbowale before, he sure is now. He tweeted after the game, “Big time shot Arike! We are a @UConnWBB family but we love seeing great players making great plays. I know my lil sis @jewellloyd is happy Well done @ndwbb good luck on Sunday #mambamentality.”
Heading into Sunday night’s Championship, Bryant continued to root on the Notre Dame athlete.
She said her “life was complete” after being noticed by Bryant. His response? “It’s complete by finishing the job on Sunday,” Bryant wrote on Twitter.
To top it off, Bryant tweeted once again after Ogunbowale’s championship-winning shot with a simple “wow.”