July 16, 2021 

What Arike Ogunbowale’s All Star breakout means for the Wings

Does her Team WNBA performance foreshadow second half for Dallas?

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Arike Ogunbowale shined the brightest among the 2021 WNBA All-Stars, winning the All-Star Game MVP award as a first time all-star all while live-tweeting.

Ogunbowale told the media postgame that she was blessed to have had the opportunity to play with the best.

“There’s a lot of great players in this league, and for us to be chosen as All-Stars, that means we’re at the top of the game. It’s just a blessing to be here,” Ogunbowale said.

Ogunbowale posted a game-high 26 points and 50 percent from behind the arc. This All-Star game was a lot more competitive than previous games, and the Dallas Wings guard was a starter for Team WNBA in a 93-85 victory over Team USA.

Winning the All-Star Game MVP was no easy feat. Team WNBA had a tall task of getting the win against those that will be representing the nation in Tokyo during the Olympics.

There were also a few players that showed out on Team WNBA, like Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones who posted a double-double scoring 18 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. Jones told the media that Ogunbowale is young and she will have her opportunity to play on Team USA in the future.

The All-Star game was a good opportunity for Team USA to get some game action before their departure to Tokyo. While there are six new faces on the Olympic team, Ogunbowale will have to wait for her chance to possibly represent the US in the 2024 Olympics. 

“All those girls are deserving, so hopefully they go and win a gold medal,” Ogunbowale said.

Six-time All-Star Candace Parker told the media post-game what it was like being on the same team as Ogunbowale.

“When she’s got it going, just keep feeding her, and that’s what it was. You know, she’s young, this is her first All-Star. But this is her element,” Parker said. 

Four-time All-Star Liz Cambage said she was proud of the way Ogunbowale played.

“This really feels like the Courtney Williams and the Arikes. This is for them. They really get to go out and do their thing. I’m proud of that baby today,” Cambage said.

Ogunbowale showcased her skills on both sides of the ball during the All-Star game as she was active defensively and was on a tear offensively. When the league resumes after the Olympic break on August 15.

Ogunbowale can continue to lead the 9-12 Dallas Wings on a playoff run. Ogunbowale is fifth in the league in scoring and leads Dallas in scoring averaging 18.9 points a game. The Wings will go as far as Ogunbowale can take them.

When the WNBA returns the Dallas Wings will host the Connecticut Sun August 15.

Written by Arie Graham

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

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