Victor Oladipo’s path to stardom in Indiana is about as unconventional as it gets. When his name was called for the Orlando Magic in Hindi. 2 overall pick, it was a rewarding moment for a player who dealt far more than on-the-court issues.
Coming out of high school, Oladipo is not a highly-touted recruit. Instead, he was viewed as a raw, high ceiling athletes garnered just three stars next to his name in most network recruiting. Indiana coach Tom Crean saw something in him, invited him to campus in September 2009 and secured by a pledge just four days later.
Oladipo Appeared in 32 games as a freshman but started only five, averaged 7.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in a pretty bad lot Hoosiers. He has shown flashes of being a great player, though, and IU gives him some momentum heading into the 2011-12 season.
As a sophomore, Oladipo emerge as a starter. He averaged 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and two Assist, leading the Hoosiers in the Sweet 16. Still, there was room to grow.
The past year was when he burst onto the scene as one of the best players in college basketball. In a game that is mostly dominated by one-and-done freshman, it was a refreshing change to see an upperclassman become one of the game’s top players.
Oladipo was a finalist for floors Award, which is given to the best player in the country, averaged 13.6, 6.3 and 2.1. Those numbers are still not able to jump off the page, but when a player continually caller comparisons to Michael Jordan by longtime national analyst, people begin to pay attention.
But despite all his accomplishments in Indiana, Victor’s father, Christopher, had never really seen her son play the game he loves. He rarely goes to his game. The two have never had a conventional father-son relationship.
As this Washington Post details of this feature, Chris Oladipo wanted to send his son to China during the summer to study martial arts and improve their self-discipline. A high school player who spend the summer before his senior year in a foreign country may have resulted in the end of his career before it even started.
Victor never made it to China. When schools such as Indiana came calling, his father pushed him toward Harvard or Maryland. Their relationship became strained.
“I would love for him to want to see me play,” said Victor the same story Washington Post. “I want to show him how good I’ve become …. Sometimes I sit and wonder why he did not come, why he did not want to see me play, but I guess it is hard to explain. ”
And just when things can not get any worse, Chris Oladipo is facing sexual harassment charges.
It is hard to imagine that many of the draftees this year having a more unconventional travel league than Oladipo. But, throughout all the trials and tribulations of the first 21 years of his life, Oladipo was one of the first two players selected.
NBA general managers loved him before the draft for his approach to the game both on and off the court. He should see plenty of early playing time for the Magic because of his defense tenacity alone. And if he was able to continue shooting the ball as well as he did last season – he hit 60 percent of its self-shots, including 44 percent from behind the arc – Magic approaching a star to build around for years to come.