Men's Basketball

    Catching Up With ... Victor Oladipo

    Go Hoosiers! Victor Oladipo
    Go Hoosiers!
    Victor Oladipo
    Go Hoosiers!

    Sept. 2, 2011

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Victor Oladipo is entering his sophomore season with the Cream and Crimson. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native averaged 7.4 points per game and 3.7 rebounds per contest as a freshman. He took some time to talk with IUHoosiers.com about the summer and the influence of his family.

    Describe your on-the-court mentality:
    "Be aggressive. Guard the best player on the other team and stop them from scoring. And do whatever it takes to help my team win - protect the basket and make open shots."

    Who are some of the players that you try to emulate on the court?
    "Definitely Dwyane Wade. I have been watching him since he was a rookie and because he is six-foot four and I am six-foot four so I can relate to him. I just try to take parts of his game and mix them in with mine. I can't be exactly like Dwyane Wade, but I take parts of his game and mix them with mine.

    "And of course I watch all the greats - Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson - and try to take things from their games. Even the way they act on the court or their mentality so I can stand out."

    On what he likes most about Dwyane Wade's game:
    "How aggressive he is and how well he attacks the basket and finishes. I think I am capable of doing that but I have a lot to work on. I am improving every day and I'm going to keep working hard. I see how easy it is for him to get to the basket, I am trying to get my game like that."

    On trying to prove those who said he wouldn't make it wrong:
    "All my life, people have been doubting me but it just makes me work harder. I believe in myself and I know there are people here that believe in me as well and that's why I came to Indiana. So I'm going to keep working hard everyday so I can achieve my goals and help the team win."

    On the first time that someone doubted him playing basketball:
    "I would have to go back to when I was a little kid, they didn't even think that I would go to a big high school (DeMatha in Washington, D.C.) like I did. I know a lot of people didn't think I was a high-major player and I wouldn't go to a D-1 school.

     

     

    The last thing I remember is people saying `you will go to a low-major or Division II' and I was a freshman in high school at the time. So I looked at that as `I just have to keep working'. Around my sophomore year, it started to click with me that I could go to a high-major and right then and there, I decided to keep working hard. And I've been working hard ever since."

    If your teammate had to describe you on and off the court in one word, what would it be? And why?
    "Enthusiastic. I guess they would say that because I just live life like that. I like to have fun. When I come out here on the court, I like to bring high energy and get the crowd and my teammates involved and be ready to play because it brings out the best in me.

    "And off the court when I'm enthusiastic with people and outgoing and welcome people, it gives them a good first impression of me and it changes how they feel and brings a good feeling to their life. That's how I was raised and I've been like that my whole life."

    On being viewed as a basketball player and not just an athlete:
    "It is really important to be viewed that way. I believe that I can do more than just jump and dunk. I believe I can bring a lot to the table and I think I am very capable of doing more than that. If I didn't think I could do more than that, I wouldn't be here right now. I'm just going to keep working on my game and show people that I have more than just jumping and dunking."

    On the influence of his family
    "My parents are both originally from Nigeria and about 25 years ago they came to the United States looking for work. They settled in Maryland and then they had my oldest sister and then my middle sister and then my twin sister and I. And I remember growing up that I always wanted to play a sport and I fell in love with basketball.

    "At first, my parents didn't really want me to play because they didn't want it to get in the way of my studies because those were more important. I think it was my mom that spoke to my dad and convinced him to let me play and I've been playing ever since. But my dad isn't really big on athletics or basketball, so he doesn't like to come and watch me play a lot. But he would take me to practices and games and pick me up and watch me play. But he really doesn't understand what is going on.

    "But my mother has been there since I can remember. She is a fan of basketball now and she has grown to love it just like me. If it wasn't for her, I probably would even be playing basketball right now.

    "My dad works at the health department and he is always working, non-stop. I remember the early days of my life, he would work three or four jobs.

    "My mom went to nursing school and graduated and is now a nurse at the county hospital. But they have always been busy the entire lives. My dad would come home late all the time but he works hard so I think that's where I get it. He and my mother work hard, they never stop so that's where I get my drive and my energy. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here now."

    On the summer and the development the team has made:
    "This has been a real big summer for us. Bringing in the tools that we have brought in and how we are coming together. We have made great strides and you will hear that from everybody. From (strength coach) Coach Jackson to the entire coaching staff.

    "We are going to continue working because we have to get this thing back. These fans deserve it. The people and the university deserve it and I am ready. And I know my teammates are ready as well to get started this season."


       

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