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Victor Oladipo becoming a Basketball Player

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Oladipo started looking up to Nigel Munson, a point guard from a popular basketball program. Munson served as a big brother, engaging Oladipo, playing him in one-on-one games. Oladipo started imagining himself playing for the high school. At DeMatha, Oladipo joined the school’s morning sessions conducted by David Adkins, then an assistant coach. Before sunrise each morning, the family crammed inside of their car for the nearly hour long ride from the suburbs to the high school.

Victoria (Victor’s twin)  attended the all-girls Elizabeth Seton High School. A janitor would open the cafeteria and let her wait for school to start while her family took Victor to DeMatha. “God rest his soul,” Victoria Oladipo said. “If it wasn’t for the janitor, I would be outside of the school waiting for somebody to get there.” Oladipo never missed a day of the early sessions. “Workouts started at six, shoes were tied, you were on the court ready to go,” said Adkins, now an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. “If you came running in a minute late, regardless, you had to sit and watch for four days before you could participate in the fifth day of a workout.” With Adkins, Oladipo worked on his jump shot, which was helped him master it. Adkins had him sit in a chair in front of a mirror, so Oladipo could watch himself and replicate his form.

Still, with all this training, Oladipo didn’t look like a player of NBA-bound talents. He played on the freshman team and with junior varsity as a sophomore. As a junior, he volunteered to come off the bench.

“He worked hard,” Victoria said. “He worked hard to make sure this dream became a reality. He worked at every step. He could’ve quit, but he didn’t.” Mike Jones (Victor’s coach)  noticed. And while Victor did not have that one skill that made eyeballs jump, he did everything well and continually made plays that helped win ballgames.

While colleges started to notice his abilities, his father, Chris, hoped Victor would attend Harvard. Chris did not really view basketball as a future profession and never attended games. At one point, he suggested that Victor skip summer basketball to travel to China for martial arts training, an effort he hoped would shatter his son’s connection to the game.

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Victor Oladipo becoming a Basketball Player