In today’s Post, Rick Maese and I profiled Indiana star and DeMatha alum Victor Oladipo. Much has been written about the 6-foot-5 guard, who’s evolved from a subpar shooter with freakish athleticism to a well-rounded player with Wooden Award and lottery-pick potential.
While our feature attempted to separate the man from the myth, here are a few more nuggets left on the cutting-room floor that speak to what’s helped Oladipo become the player and person that he is today.
–Did you know that Oladipo once threw down a 360-degree dunk in the final minute of a close game at DeMatha?
DeMatha Coach Mike Jones: “One play that stands out was in his junior or senior year when we were playing Good Counsel. We were winning by one or two points and there was about 50 seconds left. Victor steals the ball and does a 360 dunk. I’m looking at him like he’d lost his mind because that wasn’t the time to be showboating. We needed those points. But Victor looked at me like “Coach, I can do this in my sleep.’ I was pretty angry but he made it, so what are you going to say? I expressed myself to him but I also learned how fully capable he was as an athlete and dunker.”
-Did you know that Oladipo engages in his own individual film study sessions for hours at a time?
Oladipo: “I don’t want to tell you everything (laughs). But with my film sessions, I’ll study a player’s tendencies, where they like to crossover, where they like to set picks and have plays run – things like that. I just feel like there’s always work to be done.”
-Did you know why no one ever volunteered to take Oladipo home after practice or workouts more than once?
Jones: “The time I did take Victor home, he would only say he lived about 10 minutes from me and that was definitely not the case. He’d say it was right around the corner and as we kept driving, I’d look over at him and then he’d say it’s right down the street. Then we’d drive for another 10 minutes and he’d say again, it’s right up here. So the joke is that you would only volunteer to drive Vic home once because he lived way back in the sticks and back roads of Upper Marlboro.”
-Did you know Oladipo has had to change his cell phone number multiple times during the past year?
DeMatha teammate and Morgan State junior guard Justin Black: “I always ask him how he handles all the attention because I know it gets crazy with the tradition at Indiana, but he always says, Man I’m chilling. He takes it one day at a time. I know he’s had to switch his number a few times because his number’s gotten out and it gets so out of hand. Random people will just have his number”
Did you know Oladipo once asked to run a suicide drill over again?
Black: “From the day I met him, he’s always worked hard. There’s a lot of tradition and hard-working culture in his family, so he takes a lot of pride in that. He even hated losing suicides. I remember one day, he lost a suicide at the end of practice and he wanted to run it again. He was like run that back.”
Jones: “I don’t think he sees this as a job. To go in the gym and stay for hours is something he enjoys. A lot of players can’t do it consistently because they’re just doing it because they have to. Victor enjoys doing it. Some of that is motivated by wanting to prove people wrong. He wasn’t the most recruited kid to come out of high school and he feels those coaches should have been able to see these things in me. He wants people to be proud of him.”