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Ogunbowale ejected for kicking ball: ‘WNBA refs aren’t fans of soccer’

(Jim Cowsert/NBAE via Getty Images)

Arike Ogunbowale was ejected at halftime of the Dallas Wings’ Sunday loss to the Seattle Storm after seemingly kicking a ball into the stands. But the star guard said she was trying to control the ball with her foot in a throwback to her soccer-playing days.

The Storm missed a half-court shot at the halftime buzzer, and the ball fell toward Ogunbowale. She hit the ball with her foot while players walked off the court.

Ogunbowale addressed the ejection in a series of Twitter posts after the game Sunday, saying she was trying to control the basketball like 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,” wrote Ogunboawle, attaching a video of her juggling and flicking a basketball with her feet during her time at Notre Dame.

“To be ejected for something like this is wild,” Ogunbowale wrote. “From here on out I’ll try to remember WNBA refs aren’t fans of soccer players.”

The incident comes after Ogunbowale kicked the scorer’s table during her team’s loss to Los Angeles on May 31 after missing a free throw.

“That incident happened in L.A. as well,” Dallas coach Vickie Johnson said after Sunday’s 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 told reporters that she would need to speak to Wings president Greg Bibb regarding team discipline for Ogunbowale.

“We have talked about it, but that’s something Greg and I have to discuss a little bit more,” she said. “When it affects the team, it affects all of us.”