Childhood & Early Life
Born on May 4, 1992, in Silver Spring, Maryland, Victor Oladipo is one of the four children of Joan Amanze Oladipo and Christopher Oladipo. He has a twin sister named Victoria and as well as two older sisters, Kristine and Kendra.
His mother is originally from Nigeria and works as a nurse, while his father, an immigrant from Blama, Sierra Leone, received his PhD in behavioural science from the University of Maryland, College Park and currently is a public health executive for Prince George's County, Maryland.
Oladipo’s interest in basketball developed quite early. Studying at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, he was involved in their basketball program. During his senior year, he registered 11.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks in average per game.
He played a pivotal role in the school’s record of 32–4 that year and their appearances in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and City championships. His performance garnered him a place in the Washington Post 2010 All-Met First Team and inclusion in the list of top players in Washington, D.C.
Continue Reading Below
Victor Oladipo had several options after graduating from high school. He was being actively courted by several colleges, including Notre Dame, Maryland, and Xavier. He eventually picked Indiana University because the town it was located in suited him perfectly. He said, “It's like a basketball atmosphere everywhere you go....Bloomington, Indiana is a basketball town. That's perfect.”
He joined Indiana University’s college team, Indiana Hoosiers, while simultaneously pursuing a degree in sports communication broadcasting.
He appeared in 32 games in total for the Hoosiers in his freshman year (2010-11) and was part of the starting line-up in five of them. Scoring with an average of 7.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.06 steals in 18.0 minutes per game, he displayed the potential of what he could do.
During his sophomore year (2011-12), he recorded 10.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in average per game and was hailed as Hoosiers’ most improved player of the season by several commentators. Their team had a moderately successful season that year, winning their matches against New Mexico State and VCU in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and losing to Kentucky, who were the eventual national champions.
In his junior season with the Hoosiers, Oladipo emerged as one of the best players in the country. He led his team to the stellar finish of the 2012–13 season as the outright Big Ten champions. He played 36 games in what was to be his final season with the Hoosiers, scoring 13.6 points per game.
During his time with the Hoosiers, Oladipo made it to the Big Ten All-Defensive team twice (2012 and 2013), First-team All-Big Ten once (2013), and Consensus first-team All-American once (2013). In 2013, he also became the Sporting News Player of the Year, the Adolph Rupp Trophy winner, Co-NABC Defensive Player of the Year, and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
In 2013, Victor Oladipo made the decision to not appear for the senior season for the Hoosiers and made himself available for the 2013 NBA Draft. Dubbed as a lottery pick by ESPN and CBS Sports, he was asked to wait in the “green room” during the draft and was chosen by Orlando Magic as their second overall pick. On 8 July, he signed a rookie scale contract with the team.
The 2013 rookie class, in the NBA.com Rookie Survey, selected him as the best defender, the co-favourite 2013–14 Rookie of the Year (with C. J. McCollum), the co-favourite to have the best career (with Kelly Olynyk) and the second most athletic rookie (after Tony Mitchell).
He made his professional debut on October 29, 2013, in a game against the Indiana Pacers. While Orlando Magic lost the game, Oladipo managed to leave an impression. On 3 December, he registered his first career triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Philadelphia 76ers.
Continue Reading Below
Taking part in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge in February 2014, he found his place as a late player for Chris Webber's team, which was mostly comprised of other rookies. He also appeared in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge in the same month.
In the following season, a facial fracture suffered during a practice session on October 24, 2014, ended up side-lining him indefinitely. Despite this, Orlando Magic decided to keep him for one more season. He returned to the court again on 14 November against the Milwaukee Bucks. Playing with a facial protection mask, he scored 13 points, three rebounds and two assists in a 101–85 win.
The Magic extended his contract for one more season by exercising their fourth-year team option on Oladipo's rookie scale contract. He played 72 matches in the season, appearing in the starting line-up in 52 of those. He played 33.0 minutes per game, scoring 16.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.6 steals in average.
This was to be his last season with the Magic as they traded Oladipo to the Oklahoma City Thunder on June 23, 2016. Along with Oladipo, Oklahoma also received Ersan İlyasova and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis in exchange for Serge Ibaka.
On 26 October, he played his first game for the Thunder and registered 10 points in 26 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers. They went on to win the game and the Thunder subsequently offered him a four-year, $84 million contract extension. He appeared in 67 games in the 2016-17 season and was part of the starting line-up in all of those. He scored 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
Oladipo played in his first playoff series this season, where he appeared in five matches and averaged 10.8 points per game.
Despite signing Oladipo to an extensive and expensive contract, the Thunder traded him, along with Domantas Sabonis, to Indiana Pacers for Paul George in the next season. He gave an impressive performance in his debut game for the Pacers on October 18, 2017.
Playing against the Brooklyn Nets, Oladipo scored 22 points, five rebounds, four steals and four assists in his team’s 140–131 win.
The 2017–18 season was a very successful season for Oladipo. He played 75 matches, was a starter in all of those and averaged 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.4 steals per game.
He led his team to the playoffs where he appeared in seven matches and scored 22.7 points per game. While the Pacers were not the champions that year, Oladipo’s superlative performance throughout the season garnered him several accolades, including NBA Most Improved Player and NBA steals leader. He was included in the NBA All-Star Team, All-NBA Third Team, and NBA All-Defensive First Team.