Many sports fans in the modern age would say that the All-Star Game doesn’t mean anything… don’t tell that to Arike Ogunbowale. 

The WNBA’s 20th All-Star Game will be held on July 20th between the US Olympic team and the WNBA All-Stars. 

It wasn’t much of a question as to whether the face of the Wings franchise would be named an All-Star this season. Arike Ogunbowale is averaging career highs in points, (23.1) steals, (2.8) rebounds (4.9) and assists (4.8) 

Those numbers led Ogunbowale to be a slam dunk pick for her 4th career All-Star game in just her sixth season in the WNBA. However, this All-Star Game might come with a little extra chip on the shoulder for the Dallas Wings superstar. 


Arike Ogunbowale will be joined by WNBA stars Catlin Clark, Angel Reese, and Aliyah Boston as they take on a US team that is a shoo-in to win its eighth consecutive gold medal at this summer’s Paris Olympics. 


Just a few months ago, Ogunbowale hoped she would be playing in the All-Star Game but for the other side. 

“Me being me, I just felt the vibes. When it comes to (the US Olympic Team), it really doesn’t have much to do with your game,” she said.

“It’s really about who they feel fits with the team … So I actually took my name out of the pool months ago. Ogunbowale said on  Shannon Sharpe, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, and Gilbert Arenas’ podcast “Nightcap” a few weeks ago.”


Ogunbowale added that the team selection is “subjective” and that politics play a role in the process. 

“Whether that’s USA Basketball, whether that’s All-Star teams, whether that’s first team, and stuff like that, there’s politics,” Ogunbowale said.

“Even with the men’s [basketball teams]. There’s politics in everything, so I’m going to just leave it at that.”


No matter what the case was, as for Arike not making the US team, we know that she will have a chip on her shoulder at the All-Star Game in Phoenix later this month. 


The last time the WNBA All-Star game featured the Olympians vs. All-Stars format, Ogunbowale was named All-Star MVP after scoring 26 points, leading Team WNBA to a 93-85 win over a US Team that would go on to win gold in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

PHOTO: Dallas Wings

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