Hometown acquaintances describe Arike Ogunbowale off the court

LOS ANGELES -- Everyone has witnessed, and is quite aware, that Notre Dame Basketball player Arike Ogunbowale is a force to be reckoned with on the court.

But it’s what she does off the court that people are impressed with most.

It all began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A leader, a role model, and someone who will always rise to the occasion: That’s how those who knew her in high school describe her.

Her major athletic abilities were recognized in at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School which is where we heard stories about how Arike was humble despite always being in the spotlight.

But apart from her athletic achievements friends say she stands out as a person as well.

“I used to tell her oh that girl is too scared to say hi to you, and she'd be like ‘who, who’ and I'd say, ‘Oh that girl.’ And she'd go and make sure to say hi to that girl. That's who she was. That's who she is,” said Barb Seidl, DSHA Campus Ministry Administrator.

Her name now remains a vision of inspiration on the walls of her old school and everyone there is buzzing with excitement about her continued success.

"This is the story of a young woman who has earned everything she achieved,” said Ellen Bartell, president of DSHA. "This is not somebody who's a star because she trampled on people on the way up, far from it. She pays attention to the people in the community around her, she stays in touch with people and this is a quality young woman."

From plaques, banners, to a history display, she’s somewhat of a legend.

And for those who took to the court with her, she's nothing short of an inspiration as she continues to perform at the next level.

"I think she's impacted our program as a whole in a lot of ways. And especially that she raised the bar for the level of excellence in our program and set a precedent that this is what is expected,” said Alex Shaw, senior basketball player at DSHA.

Even those who didn’t know her in high school still consider her family.

Monday, she'll take the stage in L.A. to compete against several other professional athletes turned dancers during the Dancing with the Stars premiere.

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