Arike Ogunbowale Wins MVP as WNBA Beats Team USA in 2021 All-Star Game

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 15, 2021

Arike Ogunbowale drives up the court during practice for the WNBA All-Star Basketball team, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AP Photo/John Locher

Nneka Ogwumike was the biggest snub when the Team USA roster was announced ahead of this summer's Tokyo Games, but Arike Ogunbowale was a close second. So she torched the U.S. women's national team during Wednesday night's WNBA All-Star Game for the slight.

Ogunbowale was named the game's MVP after going off for 26 points in Team WNBA's 93-85 win, a matchup that was more competitive and intense than the average All-Star Game, likely due to the Olympics factor.


The 2021 WNBA All-Star MVP <a href="https://twitter.com/Arike_O?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Arike_O</a> πŸ†<br><br>Team WNBA wins the <a href="https://twitter.com/ATT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@att</a> WNBA All-Star game 93-85 πŸ‘Œ <a href="https://t.co/2beaxnxlQg">pic.twitter.com/2beaxnxlQg</a>

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Arike Ogunbowale finished with 26 points, the 4th most in an All-Star Game in WNBA history.<br><br>The only player with more in a non-overtime game is Maya Moore (30 in 2015). <a href="https://t.co/wtp3lF9PZk">pic.twitter.com/wtp3lF9PZk</a>

Matt Ellentuck @mellentuck

June 21: Team USA cuts Arike Ogunbowale from its Olympic roster<br><br>July 14: Arike Ogunbowale scores 26 points to beat Team USA at the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game

Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee

I don't know what the Bucks are going to do, but Milwaukee is already winning because Arike Ogunbowale came here to snatch that MVP &amp; send Team USA back to the lab before Tokyo.

Chris Williamson @CWilliamson44

Wait. Arike Ogunbowale got cut from Team USA and then proceeded to give that same team a 26 piece tonight in the win? Lmaoooooo <a href="https://t.co/Qsy9QlkYZv">pic.twitter.com/Qsy9QlkYZv</a>

"Playing the USA team, there's definitely going to be a little bit more of an edge to this game," Brionna Jones told ESPN's Mechelle Voepel on Tuesday. "I'm just excited to get out there."

"We want to go out and perform and help them get better," DeWanna Bonner added before the game. "Of course, we're rooting them on [in Tokyo]."

Team WNBA put Team USA through their paces on Wednesday night, however. 

Ogunbowale was the story, draining 5-of-10 shots from three and 10-of-18 field-goal attempts from the field. Not bad for her first All-Star Game.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

First-time All-Star Arike Ogunbowale going off πŸ”₯<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/DallasWings?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DallasWings</a>)<a href="https://t.co/i9nxCYTN0y">pic.twitter.com/i9nxCYTN0y</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"Just representing for 24."<br><br>Arike with the Mamba Mentality 🐍 <a href="https://t.co/shvqgDlQXu">pic.twitter.com/shvqgDlQXu</a>

Matt Ellentuck @mellentuck

arike ogunbowale is there for literally every big moment<br><br>the most clutch basketball player on the planet right now

Jonquel Jones added 18 points and 14 rebounds for Team WNBA, while Brittney Griner (17 points) and Breanna Stewart (15 points, six rebounds) led the way for Team USA. 

Ogunbowale didn't just play, she also live-tweeted during the game:

Arike Ogunbowale @Arike_O

What’s good <a href="https://twitter.com/ecambage?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ecambage</a> <a href="https://t.co/05KwkbntSK">pic.twitter.com/05KwkbntSK</a>

Arike Ogunbowale @Arike_O

I smoked that layup πŸ₯²


At halftime, Allie Quigley won her third straight three-point shooting contest, besting Jonquel Jones. 

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

THREE-TIME 3-POINT CHAMPION 🀯<br><br>Incredible, <a href="https://twitter.com/alliequigley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@alliequigley</a> πŸ‘ <a href="https://t.co/BnP37r7rL8">pic.twitter.com/BnP37r7rL8</a>

Sarah Spain @SarahSpain

THE THREE POINT GAWD!!!!<br><br>A THREE-PEAT FOR <a href="https://twitter.com/alliequigley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@alliequigley</a> πŸ™ŒπŸ»<br><br>And you love to see the Vanderquigs celly!!!!! <a href="https://t.co/VgGiSPPitU">pic.twitter.com/VgGiSPPitU</a>

Kevin Pelton @kpeltonWBB

Let's rename the WNBA 3-Point Contest the Allie Quigley Invitational. Incredible display to beat Jonquel Jones for her third title.

She hinted in her remarks after her win on the ESPN broadcast that it would be her last three-point contest. She was met with resounding boos from the Michelob Ultra Arena Crowd, as WNBA fans clearly aren't ready to see Quigley give up her crown anytime soon. 

WNBA fans will have the pleasure of watching the 24-year-old Ogunbowale at many All-Star Games to come, meanwhile. And likely in the Olympics for Team USA soon enough.

She's proved on Wednesday that she's more than ready for that stage.