Since she entered the WNBA in 2019, Arike Ogunbowale has been one of the league’s premier scorers. Ogunbwale has averaged more than 18 points per game in her first five seasons in the WNBA. 

However, 2023 saw Ogunbowale do a little more. 

In 26 games, Ogunbowale averaged career highs in steals (1.7), assists (4.5) and rebounds (3.4). Those all-around improvements saw Arike finish 10th in WNBA MVP voting.

Not only that, but Ogunbowale was able to make significant improvements on the defensive end of the floor, as she was tasked with the responsibility of guarding the other team’s best player on most nights. Ogunbowale had a defensive rating of 108 last season. 

Most importantly, the Dallas Wings finished with a 22-18 record, which was their best in team history, and the team made it to the WNBA semifinals for the first time since moving to Dallas in 2016. 

When speaking about her career year, Ogunbowale said, “I think Basketball IQ-wise, as you get older, you get better, and you see how defenses watch you.” 

Becoming a better all-around player was something that first-year head coach Latricia Trammell challenged Arike Ogunbowale to do. 

“I love her (Trammell) as a coach; she’s a great person first of all, and I think that helps to get behind someone that genuinely has your best interest in heart,” Ogunbowale said. “She brought a lot of energy to the staff, to the organization [and] to the Wings in general.” 

Year two of Latricia Trammell’s tenure in Dallas comes with high expectations as the Wings are contenders to bring home their first-ever WNBA Championship. 

If Dallas wants to lift the WNBA’s most coveted prize in 2024, Arike Ogunbowale has to be not only the Wings’ best player but one of the best players in the entire WNBA, a challenge that Ogunbowale is no doubt ready for. 

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