Notre Dame athlete's high school holds Irish legacy
Students and staff at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School are proud to watch Notre Dame Basketball player Arikes Ogunbowale’s journey of success.
The high school in Milwaukee has very strong ties to Notre Dame and its basketball program.
Seven students from DSHAHS are donning the blue and gold and getting ready to head off to a university that holds strong ties to their high school.
"I grew up in South Bend and basically as part of the Notre Dame community,” said Ellen Bartell, DSHA president.
Bartell was in the first class of women admitted to the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1972.
But the connection of Notre Dame to DSHA started long before she took over as president of the school.
"One of my classmates at Notre Dame, a woman named Mary Clemency, was a graduate of divine savior holy angels in 1972 and she and a couple of other of our classmates began what was then the basketball club,” said Bartell.
So Bartell was excited to see Notre Dame in Arike's sights for further education.
She added, "So I did pull her aside and tell her the story about the graduate from DSHA who started the basketball club. So I said you see there's really some heritage here that you could continue if you decided to go to Notre Dame and she said oh thanks Mrs. Bartell!"
And from past to present, the Irish pride continues within the walls of the high school.
Arike's success fueling that pride.
"She just keeps getting more amazing it seems like. Her senior year she won state, she had an amazing semi-finals game. Scored 55,” said Meghan Scott, senior at DSHA and future UND athlete. “It seems like there's no limit for her which is just so cool to watch and experience."
Other than Arike, cross country runner Meghan Scott is the only athlete at DSHA to win the Gatorade Player of the Year Award.
She also won the state cross country title during her high school years and will continue her career as an athlete at Notre Dame this fall.
She says her peers have compared her to Arike but that's something she finds hard to imagine as she looks up to Arike as an inspiration.
"It's hard to even compare myself to her in my mind. She just has achieved so much. But I'm really honored to even be able to make that comparison,” said Scott. “I've been a huge fan of Arike, I'm basically her number one fan, so it's cool to just follow in her footsteps at Notre Dame."
This sets a record for future Notre Dame students coming out of the high school with more students in this senior class headed to the university than any class before.
And of course, all those students excited to be part of what they call “the Notre Dame Family.”
A few of them will be watching Dancing with the Stars together Monday night with t-shirts to show some Irish pride.
The Notre Dame Club of Los Angeles is beyond thrilled to have Arike on the west coast, too.
“Anytime any Notre Dame person comes out here to LA when were in "enemy territory" with USC and UCLA down the block, It’s nice to raise blue and gold and say go Irish here and there,” said Randall Eng, Nortre Dame Club of LA.
Eng is a Notre Dame alumnus from the class of 2012.
He says he and other members of the Notre Dame Club of LA can’t believe that one of their own is taking the floor for this new edition of dancing with the stars.
He says she'll have good competition and he has complete faith.
“I think the ice skaters might give her a run of her money,” said Eng. “If she applies that Kobe mentality that got her and the team through the semifinals and the finals.”
The ND Club will be holding a raffle for people to have a chance to win tickets to week two of dancing with the stars and hopefully see Arike.
Dancing with the Stars Premieres at 8 p.m.