On eve of draft, Victor Oladipo continues to rise

022013hew

Victor Oladipo is that stock you bought in December, back when you had a feeling, that continues to rise. And where it stops? No one knows. He is the darling of a lacking draft.

The most prominent sports voice on the web, and maybe America, won’t stop gushing about him (Bill Simmons). A man that lives and sleeps the draft is right there with him (Chad Ford). NBA execs are enamored (Flip Saunders, others).

There was a time when this was surprising and shocking. It all happened, the jump from last summer’s gym rat life to lottery pick, in a blink and blur. But not anymore. This is old hat after the last several months. We knew Oladipo was special. Others are simply finding out now, too.

The DeMatha product is about as close as a sure thing as this weak draft will produce out of the lottery. It is not just Oladipo’s defense — which is NBA ready, and if nothing else, something of value he can always bring to the table in the league. (Though, I wonder if his limited size may not make him as effective on LeBron like other young wing stoppers such as Kawhi Leonard, Paul George or Jimmy Butler.)

It’s not just an evolving offensive game that still gives him the potential to rise to another level after he’s already risen further than anyone thought. It’s Victor Oladipo, The Person. Kid has charm and a dying thirst to get better every damn day. He means business; he does not mess around. There is such an outstanding maturity and sense of self when he speaks. He’s genuine and authentic. He is confident in his abilities, but not cocky. He handles a media scrum with such grace that you wonder if he’s been training for that just as hard in his off-court hours.

If you were an NBA front office executive on the fence about him before you sat down and talked to him, you came away an Oladipo fanboy. The 21-year-old may never be a superstar or an All-Star; he may never even be a surefire starter in the league. But there’s little doubt he will affect the outcomes of games — be it a steal, a block, a timely bucket. This is what he did during his Indiana career. This is what he lives for and thrives on.

Victor Oladipo will walk across the stage Thursday night and shake David Stern’s hand. He will flash that infectious, perfect smile. He will say all the right things when he’s interviewed shortly after. And, likely, he will be back in the gym the next day getting better.

Because this is who he is and what he does.

  • Dagwoods

    Well deserved!

  • MillaRed

    The face of Indiana basketball right now IMO.

    On a side note, we are talking about what kind of team we have next year, meanwhile Yogi and Will make the cut of 16 at the World U. games. 2 out of 16? Not a bad start.

  • drewmiller1

    Oladipo’s a good guy, who is incredibly fun to watch. He will sell tickets. Who wouldn’t want this guy on their team.

  • IU80

    The foundation of his value is his ability to infect the culture with relentless, inspiring work ethic and “can do” optimism. Anyone who has run or owned a business knows very well that people like Vic come along very infrequently. They make everyone better.

  • IU80

    BTW – I noticed that he changed the picture on his twitter account. He’s wearing a shirt that says “Phoenix Basketball.” For what it is worth….

  • B-TOWNdawgs

    That’s not his real twitter account. It’s a fake one. His real one is now- @VicOladipo. He changed his name and his profile picture is still him in iu uniform. And he conveniently has a blue twitter check mark next to his account

  • HoosierFrom812

    I will no longer wear his #4 jersey, and pin it to my wall in honor of my favorite Hoosier of my young lifetime. *tips hat*

  • IUMIKE1

    IUMIKE1 smiles a rather sneaky smile and slowly nods his head.

  • IUMIKE1

    Being someone that has owned a business I can tell you that that is a very good point and a true one as well.

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