Dallas Wings rookie guard Arike Ogunbowale probably won’t make the playoffs her first season in the league — the Wings are 10th in the standings behind a 9-18 record. In front of them are the Indiana Fever (9-17) at the nine seed and the Minnesota Lynx (13-14) in the eighth and final playoff spot. With Lynx star Napheesa Collier, a rival to Ogunbowale for the 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year award, more likely to make the playoffs, Ogunbowale has found another way to put a stamp on her rookie season — through pure domination.
And it all came together after the All-Star break.
Collier was named Player of the Month for July and she also was named to the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game roster after captain A’ja Wilson suffered an ankle injury that prevented her from suiting up. Since the All-Star break, Ogunbowale has embarked on a campaign to show the world why she, not Collier, deserves to be named Rookie of the Year.
For the week ended Sunday, Aug. 18, Ogunbowale averaged 25.3 points to help the Wings to a 2-1 record, earning her the Player of the Week nod for the West.
Ogunbowale is averaging 16.4 points, 2.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds for the season, shooting 37% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range. In her eight games since the All-Star break? Make that 21.5 points, 3.5 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game on a blistering 44% shooting from the field and 46% shooting from deep.
When the Chicago Sky’s Courtney Vandersloot was snubbed from All-Star glory in 2018, she came out after the break and wrecked the league by averaging a double-double in scoring and assists. She reached some milestones and broke some records to make it even more interesting — proving that there’s nothing to bring the fire out of a competitor like a good old-fashioned snub.
For the record, Collier is averaging 12.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in her rookie campaign. She is making 46.7% of her field goal attempts and 33.8% of her three-point attempts.