2018 ESPYs Play of the Year: Winner, Acceptance Speech and Twitter Reaction

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2018

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01:  Arike Ogunbowale #24 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hoists the NCAA championship trophy after scoring the game winning basket to defeat the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four at Nationwide Arena on April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs 61-58.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After helping the Notre Dame Fighting Irish cut down the nets in April, Arike Ogunbowale added some more hardware to her trophy case Wednesday by winning the ESPY for the 2018 Best Play.

Her buzzer-beater against Mississippi State to win the 2018 national championship stood out above the rest:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Watching Arike Ogunbowale's championship buzzer-beater will never get old #ESPYS https://t.co/KIaF5pUt7R

The shot—which gave the program its second championship—beat out the Philadelphia Eagles' "Philly Special," Florida State third baseman Jessie Warren's diving double play and high school basketball player Blake Peters' 80-foot buzzer-beater to be declared the top play of the year.

It was a tournament of a lifetime for Ogunbowale. Not only did she score 18 and hit the game-winning bucket in the title game, but she also dropped 27 in the Final Four against the previously undefeated UConn Huskies...and she won that game with a buzzer-beater as well:

Little did she know at the time, that would not be her most memorable shot of the tournament.

Her late-game heroics even caught the attention of her idol, Kobe Bryant:

Kobe Bryant @kobebryant

Big time shot Arike! We are a @UConnWBB family but we love seeing great players making great plays. I know my lil sis @jewellloyd is happy Well done @ndwbb good luck on Sunday #mambamentality 🙌 https://t.co/8DxHkNURN7

Arike Ogunbowale @Arike_O

Wow, my life is complete. The GOAT 😭🙌🏾 https://t.co/91wiItW0KN

Kobe Bryant @kobebryant

Nah... it’s complete by finishing the job on Sunday @Arike_O #MambaMentality https://t.co/pvL95JCZHn

When she was announced as the winner, the internet started to buzz:

Kobe Bryant @kobebryant

WOW! @Arike_O #lifecomplete #MambaMentality

Matt Randall @mattrandall_

#NotreDame WBB's Arike Ogunbowale wins the ESPY for Best Play. A fitting cap to a crazy few months. #ESPYAwards

JamieGreen @prlywtz

My heart said Philly Special...but I remember the thrill of watching Arike Ogunbowale and her teammates ! Congratulations!

Ogunbowale's shot joins the likes of Odell Beckham Jr.'s legendary catch, Jadeveon Clowney's jaw-dropping hit and Abby Wambach's last-minute goal against Brazil in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup as winners of the ESPY Best Play of the Year award.


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