May 17, 2022 

A night with Arike Ogunbowale in the Dallas community

Arike shoots the lights on

DALLAS — Last week, Dallas Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale shot the lights on at one of Dallas’ most recognizable landmarks, the Reunion Tower. It is a 561-foot observation tower located downtown that rotates, giving people a bird’s-eye view of the city.

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Ogunbowale told The Next that she and Red Bull had talked about the initiative for months and that she was excited to see it finally come to fruition. She said she will always remember lighting up the tower.

“I don’t think a lot of people could say they personally made it get lit up. Just being able to do that with this event is dope,” she said.

The Dallas Wings guard took shots at a basket designed and built on a temporary court with a view of the tower in the background. For every 3-point shot she made, a sphere of lights brightened on the ball. Once she hit 10 3-pointers, all the lights of Reunion Tower lit up in the form of a massive basketball. Friends, family and fans cheered on her as she accomplished the feat.

Stephanie Cooper, season ticket holder for the Dallas Wings, was in attendance and told The Next that she thought the event was epic.

“The [basketball] court, the atmosphere, DJ and the location being in the heart of the city, it was special. Red Bull energy drinks were flowing and definitely gave us the energy needed to hype Arike to knock down shots,” she said. “I hadn’t seen anything like that, and to witness the Reunion Tower lights being lit with every shot was cool.”

The event launched “Dallas has Wiings,” which is a season-long giveback program for parks and recreation. This is a collaboration between Ogunbowale and Red Bull — every 3-point shot she makes in the 2022 WNBA season will earn $800 towards new solar-powered lighting systems at Dallas community courts in need of upgrades.

The “Dallas Has Wiiings” program runs from May 7 to August 14, and all accumulated funds up to $50,000 will be presented to the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department following the wrap of the season to support their restoration efforts.

“More families are playing together for fun and fitness on park sports courts. Adding solar lighting will extend their time outdoors, letting them play well into the evenings. As stewards of our environment, we are excited to welcome green and sustainable technology to our park system. Dallas Park and Recreation applauds Red Bull and Ms. Ogunbowale for their commitment to enhancing recreational experiences for Dallas families,” said Arun Agarwal, President, Dallas Parks and Recreation Board.

The former Notre Dame star has been the leading scorer for Dallas since entering the league in 2019 and has already hit 11 3-pointers for $8,800. She said if there were no limit, she would get $1 million for the city.

Last season she made 80 3-pointers, which would have totaled $64,000. Ogunbowale signed a three-year extension prior to this season; the Dallas Wings and the city of Dallas are putting the ball in the right hands to accomplish their goals.

Written by Arie Graham

Arie Graham joined 'The Next' in May 2021 as the beat writer for the Dallas Wings.

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