Having returned to Indiana, Oladipo thriving with Pacers

Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is having a breakout year, on and off the court.

It’s been a breakout year for Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, who’s very quickly become the face of the franchise. If you were to ask most people before the start of the 2017-18 campaign, they would admit they didn’t see it coming.

The fifth-year guard out of Indiana University was acquired in the offseason deal that sent Paul George to Oklahoma City. Originally, the deal was scoffed at by national pundits for what was assumed to be a steal. However, it appears the real winner was the Pacers.

Indiana is sitting at fifth-place in the Eastern Conference as of Saturday and a large part of that success falls into the lap of the 25-year-old. The explosive guard is averaging a career-high in scoring at 24 points per contest, putting up six more points from his previous best. For that success, Oladipo has been named an NBA All-Star for the first time in his career.

“It’s a blessing, Oladipo told Amico Hoops of being an All-Star. “Definitely thankful, definitely humbled. It’s a great accomplishment. It’s an honor to go over there and represent the Indiana Pacers and to represent the state as well. So I’m looking forward to it.”

Representing the state of Indiana is something Oladipo did long before his arrival to the Pacers this season. From 2010-13, he spent three seasons being one of the bright spots for the Hoosiers at the collegiate level. While being back in his home state makes familiarity a non-issue, Oladipo refuses to be comfortable for the sake of improving his game.

“I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable, per say,” he said. “But I’m definitely used to the area, definitely comfortable with my teammates and stuff like that. Never comfortable though, never satisfied. (I) gotta lot of work to do so just continue to keep getting better.”

Oladipo is no stranger to All-Star Weekend, as he participated in the 2015 Slam Dunk Contest. He made it to the finals of the competition before falling to Zach Lavine, who’s now a two-time champion. Oladipo is unsure if he’ll compete in the showcase again this year, noncommittal as of this weekend.

One thing’s for certain, though. He will be playing Sunday night when the spotlight is on the league’s biggest stars.

Another thing going well for the budding star is his music career. Oladipo released an album titled “Songs For You” in 2017, displaying his remarkable singing ability in a tracklist that featured a lot of soulful melodies and crafty lyricism. For those wondering when the next batch of songs could find their way to the public, Oladipo revealed to Amico Hoops his plans for that as well.

“I’m gonna be working on some stuff, we’ll see,” he said. “Hopefully, it’ll come out next summer or the beginning of next year.”

An All-Star appearance, a potential playoff berth, and a new album on the way? It’s been a nice stretch for Oladipo. He’ll look to continue making headlines along the way.