Dallas Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale was ejected at halftime after kicking a ball during an 84-79 loss to the Seattle Storm.
After a halfcourt shot flew off the backboard and landed in Ogunbowale’s direction, the fourth-year player out of Notre Dame kicked the ball and was ejected as a result.
Ogunbowale addressed the incident on Twitter after the game Sunday, claiming she was simply trying to control the ball with her feet, as she would a soccer ball.
“If you know me, you know I was a soccer player first. Literally every practice and game, I stop the basketball with my feet, pass it to my teammates with my feet, etc. Ball comes at me fast. I always stop the ball with my feet; it’s just my first instinct,” Ogunbowale said on Twitter.
She later went on to say that in “NO WAY,” she was trying to kick the ball. “The half was over. I tried to control the ball with my feet like I always do if the ball comes @ me fast. To be ejected for something like this is wild. From here on out, I’ll try to remember WNBA refs aren’t fans of soccer players,” Ogunbowale wrote, attaching a video of herself controlling the ball with her feet during her college career at Notre Dame.
Ogunbowale has made a habit of using her feet on the court, as she received a technical foul for kicking the scorer’s table after being whistled for a free throw violation during a 93-91 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks.
“That incident happened in L.A. as well,” Wings Coach Vickie Johnson said after the game. “We’re not on the soccer field, we’re on the basketball court, and you have to respect the game, period. We play basketball with our hands.”
Johnson said that she would meet with Wings president and CEO Greg Bibb to discuss a potential disciplinary action for Ogunbowale.
“We have talked about it, but that’s something Greg and I have to discuss a little bit more,” Johnson said. “When it affects the team, it affects all of us.”
Ogunbowale, a career 19.6 point per game scorer, is averaging 17.5 points per game this season. Despite a 6-7 record, the Wings are in third place in the Western Conference.
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