Kobe Bryant Responds To Notre Dame Star Arike Ogunbowale Crediting ‘Mamba Mentality’ After Final Four Game-Winners
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is known for his amazing clutch shots throughout his career, but even he never pulled off what Notre Dame women’s basketball star Arike Ogunbowale did this past weekend during the Women’s Final Four.

It started on Friday night as Notre Dame faced off with longtime rival UConn, the top ranked team in the country who was undefeated. Ogunbowale hit a stepback jumper with just one second left to vanquish the Huskies.

Afterwards, Ogunbowale said that she channeled her inner ‘Mamba Mentality’ prompting Kobe to congratulate her on Twitter, even though he was admittedly a UConn fan.

But Kobe is Ogunbowale’s idol, so his fandom didn’t stop her from responding in pure amazement:

In typical Kobe fashion however, he wouldn’t let Ogunbowale rest on her laurels, challenging her to win the ultimate prize:

Facing off with Mississippi State in the championship game, it looked as if Notre Dame would come up short as they trailed by double digits in the second half. They battled back, however, and with three seconds left they were tied with a chance to win.

Ogunbowale had struggled all game, making just five of 20 shots, but with the game on the line she came through once again, hitting a 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining, lifting the Fighting Irish to the national championship.

And Kobe made sure to congratulate her once again, with her response being just as one would expect:

Hitting a buzzer-beater to win a game in the NCAA Tournament is the dream of any college player. Making back-to-back game-winners to win a national championship? That is something that may never happen again in men or women’s basketball.

Kobe may have retired, but he is always close to the game and when someone like Ogunbowale is showing off the ‘Mamba Mentality’ at that level, it is undoubtedly worth a response and even more. Kobe always has respect for the elite and she was exactly that on this weekend.

Needless to say Josh Hart and Rob Pelinka will be hoping for the same kinds of heroics as their respective alma maters, Villanova and Michigan, meet in the men’s national championship game.

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