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Victor Oladipo shares joyous draft night with father

Jun 27, 2013, 10:53 PM EDT

2013 NBA Draft Getty Images

NEW YORK – Victor Oladipo’s incredible rise, from a high school backup to the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, has come with a complicated relationship with his father in the backdrop.

Tonight, the father – who rarely, if at all, attended his son’s DeMatha High School games – came to the forefront.

“I tried to bring the whole DMV with me,” Oladipo said. “I got my sisters, my mom, my agent. And my father actually came today, which means a lot to me, as well. It was hard for him definitely to come to a lot of my games, but for him to be here tonight is an amazing feeling.”

Oladipo spoke about how his family once viewed his basketball playing as merely a hobby.

“I don’t even know if my family still knows what’s going on,” Oladipo said. “I know they’re happy. I know they’re happy for me.”

DeMatha basketball coach Mike Jones has always maintained Victor and Chris Oladipo share a loving relationship, but any outsider can see it sometimes shows in strange ways. Jones has been close to Oladipo – “the whole ‘earned, not given,’ he is the epitome of that,” Jones said – and spent the last 48 hours with the former Indiana star.

“I was joking earlier, I kind of felt like I got drafted too, ” Jones said.

It’s the type of joy Oladipo has shared with not only his immediate family, but his extended family like Jones and former Indiana teammate Cody Zeller, who was drafted by the Bobcats with the No. 4 pick, much higher than many expected.

“I’m not surprised he got picked where he got picked,” Oladipo said. “I was cheering just as loud as everybody else.”

On a night most draft picks look like they’ve reached a lifelong goal (because that’s usually the case), Oladipo carried himself with an extra outward happiness.

Jones, who learned Oladipo had a hidden talent the night of his senior-year banquet at DeMatha, thought Oladipo would even display it during his televised interview immediately after the Magic picked him.

“I totally thought he was going to break out into song,” Jones said. “And he would have had this whole place rocking  had he done that.”

  1. apkyletexas - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    The beautiful young lady standing directly in front of Victor in the photo is his twin sister (their names are Victor and Victoria). Their twin sibling bond is a great story – apparently she is his biggest basketball critic.

    Amazingly, last year’s top pick Anthony Davis was the boy in a brother-sister twin pairing, and Gordon Hayward from the 2010 Butler final four team was also the brother in a boy-girl twin pair. The Wall Street Journal has a cool article on this phenomenon – the odds against it are 1-in-220 in the general population. How are so many of the boys in these brother-sister twin pairings so athletically gifted? Shawn Marion and Rashard Lewis are some other basketball star brothers who have a twin sister.

    • finsfan4life - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      you got a link to that article by WSJ? I’d like to read it

      • apkyletexas - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:32 AM

      • finsfan4life - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:41 PM

        good looking out

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      You nailed it Texas. The relationship with his sister is very strong. And she is his biggest critic.
      Keeps him humble. I am so happy for Vic. You will not find a hard worker. His energy is infectious. I have admired the kids skills since his stepped on the Bloomington campus.
      O-La-Di-Po…clap…clap…clap, clap, clap.

  2. cflip376 - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Would of preferred Mclemore, but am going to trust Hennigan on this. He does alot of research and it’s worked out so far with the young core he has now.

    • fatcamper - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      I think what Hennigan liked about Oladipo was his work ethic. As the son of Nigerian parents there are nothing but stories of hard work. There were questions about McLemore’s fitness leading up to the draft – which directly relates to work ethic.

      They both need some work, but I’m guessing Hennigan took a cue from Popovich and went with the foreign guy that he feels will work harder on his fundamentals.

      (Coincidentally I just sent my life savings to the ex-Prince of Nigeria who needs it to free up his fortune before sending me a hefty reward. I sure was lucky to get that email.)

  3. bigmeechy74 - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    Cody Zeller, who was drafted by the Suns with the No. 4 pick,….. No he wasn’t.

  4. northstarnic - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Seems like a solid kid. More gratitude for and recognition of his unique opportunity to make millions playing ball than 95% of other pro athletes. Best of luck. Wish he would have ended up a Timber Wolf.

  5. louhudson23 - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    I honestly told my Dad about this guy the year before last. He has only gotten better since then,but that spark was there from the start….a true player,through and through,he looks to somehow influence each and every play on the floor. If you do not keep a body on him at all times and at both ends,he will literally make every play his play….rebounds,blocked shots,steals,denials in the passing lanes. A mad driver,he follows his fast improving outside shots(a truly lost skill)and knows where everyone is at all times…..

  6. jpopejoy - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Magic got a guy that will change culture. While Zeller “made it cool” for all-Americans (especially in state) to come to IU again, Oladipo is the one who changed the culture w work ethic. I know the media thrives on hyperbole this time of year, but he really is the hardest worker I’ve ever seen in basketball. His work ethic alone will make everyone else on that team step it up.

  7. ddogdaddy - Jun 28, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Magic fans who don’t know a lot about V.O. will learn soon enough that you have star in the making both on and off the court. His attitude and work ethic are second to none. Great pick.

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