The Journal Gazette sat down with IU guard Victor Oladipo at an autograph event in Kendallville on April 27. Read what he had to say about the NBA Draft, preparing for the future and the turning point in his career with the Hoosiers.
JG: How weird is it to think about graduating and moving on in just a few days?
Oladipo: It's crazy, man. It gets different by the day. My life is changing drastically, and it's gonna be really crazy after graduating.
JG: You've gone from a fringe top-150 guy to almost winning college player of the year. You talked about how you wanted to make it to the next level. How does it feel to actually make it?
Oladipo: Basketball is about to be my profession, and it's a great feeling. That's what I wanted all my life. For it to actually come true is a surreal feeling.
JG: Do you feel ready to move on? How excited are you to start your pro career?
Oladipo: I'm just ready to get started, go to my team and get acclimated to everything: the coaches, the players and stuff like that and win some basketball games. I want to go to the league and not only just be an impact as a player, but as a person, too.
JG: What did you learn from this journey and your development over these three years?
Oladipo: Never change my work ethic. Make it a way of life. I'm just proof that hard work pays off, and I can never forget that. I'll definitely continue to keep working hard, staying in the gym and believing in myself, and everything will work out for itself.
JG: When (IU coach) Tom Crean recruited you, you talked about how he develops players, how he helped Dwayne Wade do what you're doing now. You followed a similar trajectory through your college career. When you think back on it, how does it feel to realize such a lofty goal?
Oladipo: It's unbelievable. As a little kid, you dream of things like this. You dream of being in the position I am now. And now, to actually be in it, it's truly a blessing, and I thank God and I thank my family and everyone who's been there to support me.
I'm just gonna continue to keep working because I don't want to let them down, you know? I definitely don't want to let myself down, so I'm just gonna keep making it a way of life, like I was saying. Keep working hard and putting God first, and everything will be perfect.
JG: Have you found an agent yet?
Oladipo: I'm gonna sign with one within the next week and a half. Actually, I might sign with one this weekend. I have picked my top two agents.... From here, I've just got to break everything down and choose wisely.
JG: Maurice Creek was a mentor and brother to you at IU, as you've said in the past. How did it feel to hear about his decision to transfer?
Oladipo: It was tough, you know, because I know he really loves this place, and the fans really love him as well. I guess it's just a better move for him. He wants to go places, and he just feels like if he goes somewhere else, he has a better chance of achieving his goals.
IU isn't for everybody, but I believe he's gonna go wherever he goes and work hard. His dreams will eventually come true.
JG: There were a lot of highlights and low moments for Indiana basketball in your career. What was the marquee moment for you?
Oladipo: The marquee for me is the summer after my sophomore year. I stayed all summer long and, you know, I just stayed here and got schoolwork done and worked out and got ready for the season. That was marquee for me. I think that changed my whole perspective on basketball, it changed my basketball IQ – it changed everything. I'm just gonna continue to keep working, man. The sky's the limit.