TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Stepping on to the court at Amalie Arena, Arike Ogunbowale smiles. Her Notre Dame team has done it again.
"Yeah, I mean, it's a blessing to get back to the Final Four," she said. "Not a lot of people can do that."
Arike's buzzer beater shot to beat Mississippi State in the championship game last year was one example of her competitive spirit and never quit type attitude. It's something that runs in the family bloodline. Her mother was a college softball player and her older brother, Dare, is a running back for the Buccaneers.
"He's like my best friend," she explained. "You know, we talk every day, about different things, basketball, just life stuff, we're really close."
The two were competitive growing up. Arike was known for playing with kids older than her, including Dare and his friends.
"Definitely playing with boys and playing with older people definitely got me stronger at an early age," she said.
For that, she's thankful. Arike and Dare have remained close, even while concentrating on their respective games.
"He's my big brother, and you know, he always has guidance for me and insight for me, things like that," Arike said. "It's definitely great to have him in my corner, you know, somebody older, somebody that's kind of been through the same thing, knows what to look for, knows what to say, knows how to help. That's definitely good."
Arike and Dare may live over a 1,000 miles apart now, but for one weekend, they're together again.
"I mean it was nice that he was already here because he probably wouldn't have been able to get out if it was anywhere else," Arike said. "So, it was nice it's in Tampa, and the whole family is coming, so I'm excited."
Notre Dame faces UConn in the second semifinal game tomorrow night at Amalie Arena. Tip-off is 9 p.m. Baylor and Oregon take the court for the first game at 7 p.m.