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Ellen Welcomes College Basketball Star Arike Ogunbowale

November 29, 2019


Our next guest became
an overnight sensation this past weekend, after hitting
two game-winning buzzer beaters in the NCAA Women’s
Basketball Tournament. Take a look at her. For a trip to the
National Championship! Ogunbowale! Gooooood! Ogunbowale for the win! Gooooood! Arike Ogunbowale wins
the National Championship for Notre Dame! From the University
of Notre Dame, please welcome National
Champion Arike! Congratulations. Thank you. I mean, your life has
just changed, right? It really has. Overnight? Overnight. [LAUGHS] Yeah. OK, so two game-winning scores. So what is that– OK, the first one you must
have been like, oh my god. Like, the first one I’m
like, OK, that’s crazy. Like, you’re going to
National Championship for the first time. The second one, I’m, like,
there’s no way that went in. I’m like, did I travel? Did it not get off the top? I went to my coach,
I’m like, did it count? Did it count? She’s like, it counted. I’m like, no it didn’t. Like, there’s no way. Well, you could see, everybody
reacted like it counted. Yeah. They did. Yeah. So I guess I had to believe it. I still don’t. Yeah. Because you were struggling
that whole game, right? And you were losing at half. Yeah. We only scored three points
in the second quarter, which was terrible. Like, we only had seven
points in the first half. And I was 1 for 10
in the first quarter. So– but I mean, my
teammates, they– they have confidence in me. My teammates and my
coach, they trust me. So they’re like, keep shooting. Keep shooting. That’s what I did. Wow. That’s amazing. See, what that pays off? To have confidence in somebody. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So you hadn’t won in 17 years. Is that right? Notre Dame hadn’t
won in 17 years. Yes, the last time was 2001. Right. So I mean, obviously
that can mess with you when you’re going in. So did you try to overcome that? What were your thoughts
going into that game? I mean, well, we still
have the National Champion winner on the team. Like, this is actually her 2001
National Championship ring. But she just told us,
like, you guys can do it. I know this team can do it. And I mean, she had trust in us. Everybody had trust in us. Right. So how old are you? 21. 21. When did you start
playing basketball? When I was around
like, three or four. OK, three or four? Mhm. Did people in your family play? Yeah, I have two older brothers. So I used to always
play with them, even though I wouldn’t win. And my mom’s a
fifth grade teacher. And she coached her fifth
grade basketball team. In first grade, I was
playing on that team as well. So you were good right away? Yeah. I mean, first grade
I was a little rough. I was just on the team
because my mom was there. Right. But second and third
grade, I got pretty good. So you got good in second grade? Yeah, second grade. OK. It took you a while, I see. Well yeah, a year longer. All right. And then how does this feel,
when you see yourself here? It’s just– I don’t know. It’s amazing. [APPLAUSE, CHEERING] I mean, individually,
it’s a great thing. Thank you guys. I think for women’s
basketball in general, for us to get this
much media attention, and finally getting the
respect that we deserve, I think it’s just amazing. Yeah, I agree. I agree. [APPLAUSE] Equality. Equal pay. Yeah. Equal pay. So you got a tweet from
Kobe, who is like your– you love him. I love him. OK. And so you see, he tweets you. And what happens? I mean, initially, at
the game, I saw him. And he was U-Conn, had
blue on, sitting at U-Conn. I’m like OK, cool, this is my
idol, cheering for my rival. It’s like, that’s awesome. And then after the game,
I see him tweet at me. Like, my teammate brought it
to me after a press conference. I was like, there’s no way. There’s no way. And then I tweeted at him. I was like, life complete. And he was like, no,
it’s not complete yet until you win
the championship. And I think that was
motivation for me. Because I love him. I wear 24 because of him. And for him to tweet at me– and
I named my dog Kobe after him, actually. So for him to tweet
at me was amazing. And after we won Sunday, he was
like, wow, mission complete. Or life complete, actually. My mentality . I was just like,
this is not real. This is not my life right now. That’s amazing. Yeah, your life, you’re in a
very good moment right now. Yeah. Definitely. That’s really great.

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