Nov. 14, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s announced the Women’s Preseason Top-30 on Tuesday afternoon as Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale was among the front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. The list is chosen by a preseason poll of national women’s college basketball media members.
Ogunbowale is one of six ACC players selected to the Preseason Top-30, matching the Pac-12’s and SEC’s 6 honorees for most of any conference.
Ogunbowale shone bright in Notre Dame’s season-opening win over Mount St. Mary’s, leading the Irish with 21 points, marking her ninth 20+ point performance of her career. Also in the opener, in just her 73rd career game, Ogunbowale crossed over the 1,000-career point mark, becoming the 37th women’s basketball player at Notre Dame to do so.
Already this year, the Milwaukee native has been named a Preseason All-ACC selection, espnW’s 15th best player in the country and an Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Top-20 Watch List candidate.
The players on the Top-30 list are considered strong candidates for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year. However, players not chosen to the preseason list are eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list and the National Ballot.
The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Voting will open prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games.
The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight. The winner of the 2018 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 6, 2018.
Josh Bates joined Fighting Irish Media as associate athletics communications director in July of 2017, serving as the women’s basketball and men’s golf contact. Bates earned both his bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2014) degree in sports management from the University of Illinois. He also worked as a grad assistant at Illinois from 2012-14 and worked full-time at Tulane University from 2014-17.