The Nigerian community in the U.S. has celebrated Arike Ogunwale’s winning shot, which crowned Notre Dame as winners of the 2018 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball title.
The Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN), in a statement by Chairman, Board of Trustees, Olayinka Dansalami, said the feat has proved that Nigeria was not “a shit-hole country”.
Ogunbowale was on Sunday night the hero as she propelled Notre Dame to win the 2018 National Basketball Championship title with a 61-58 victory over Mississippi State.
Ogunbowale’s a late rescuing jump shot, with 0.1 seconds left, earned Notre Dame their first women’s NCAA national championship since 2001 and only the second in history.
The Nigerian-born, who scored 27 points in Friday’s epic semi-final win over the Mississippi, earned most outstanding player honours for the tournament.
The Nigerian organisation commended Nigerian sports men and women in the U.S. who are propelling their colleges to victory.
“Nigeria did it again at the NCAA Women Basketball National Championship.
“Arike Ogunbowale did it again by scoring the winning basketball at the buzzer during the NCAA Women Championship game against Mississippi.
“We would like to rejoice with Arike and her family for making us so proud. Congratulations to the entire Notre Dame Women Basketball Team.
“Nigeria is certainly not a shit-hole country,” the Nigerian organisation said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that OAN had earlier on Saturday, urged Nigerians to root and pray for Ogunbowale and another Nigerian in the NCAA Men’s Basketball’s tournament, Udoka Azubuike.
“We are very proud of them and we pray that God will grant their respective colleges victory against their opponents,” the organisation said on Saturday.
The Nigerian-born now has two of reported record four biggest shots in the women’s basketball history.
Ogunbowale’s father, Gregory, is from Nigeria, where he played soccer and rugby while her mother, Yolanda, is an American-born teacher who was a softball pitcher.
However, Azubuike’s Kansas lost to Villanova 95-79 in the NCAA Men semi-finals.
Although Villanova Wildcats dominated, Kansas power centre, Azubuike, still managed to provide a memorable highlight during the Final Four clash.
Azubuike, who is Kansas 280-pound power centre, finished the first half with four points on 2-of-4 shooting to go along with three rebounds. (NAN)