Kobe Bryant Dropped By ‘Ellen’ To Surprise Notre Dame Hero Arike Ogunbowale

Ellen on YouTube

Arike Ogunbowale is fresh off one of the greatest Final Four performances in NCAA history, hitting two last-second shots to lift Norte Dame to its first women’s basketball national championship since 2001.

Ogunbowale’s heroics have earned her immortality in college sports, and the last few days have been full of celebration since she knocked off Mississippi State with a buzzer-beater after a frantic Fighting Irish comeback in the title game on Sunday night.

On Friday, she appeared on Ellen and got to talk about how her life has changed since hitting those two big buckets.

Ogunbowale was quoted as saying she tapped into her “Mamba Mentality” in the clutch, a reference to Kobe Bryant. So, it being Ellen and all, Kobe himself was on hand to meet Ogunbowale and congratulate her on the title.

Kobe referred to her as “the champ” and Ogunbowale quickly corrected him.

“That’s five rings,” she said, pointing to Kobe. “That’s the champ.”

Bryant was just as complimentary, though, pointing out that he never won a title on a buzzer beater and didn’t win an NCAA title.

“Y’all don’t understand,” Bryant said. “That’s like the picture-perfect moment. As a kid you dream about ‘five four three two one’ to win the championship, and she actually did it.”

Bryant did admit that he was rooting for UCONN in the semifinal game, and that his daughter is now practicing the move Arike made to take the Huskies down. Speaking of dogs, Kobe gave Ogunbowale an autographed jersey and also included one for her dog, also named Kobe.

Later, Ice Cube showed up to play a bit of 2-on-2 basketball, which wasn’t nearly as exciting as the last time we saw Ogunbowale — or Kobe, actually — on the court.