Connect with us

Basketball

The Secret Life of Victor Oladipo

His life is more than just basketball

Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Secret Life of Victor Oladipo


Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has had a roller coaster year. He hasn’t stepped on the court since rupturing a quad tendon in his right knee way back in January, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be back any time soon. While the Pacers are doing what they can to prevent rushing him back, they are smack in the middle of a strong Eastern Conference. And they’re only five games out of the top spot.

So what has the All-Star been doing other than rehabbing his injury?

Singing.

Yeah, you read that correctly. Victor can sing. Pacers fans will likely have known this already, but the rest of us are left with our jaws on the floor.

Thingamajig

Oladipo was unmasked recently in the semi-finals of the FOX singing competition, The Masked Singer. He’s not the first athlete to compete on the show, but he lasted the longest of the four. (The others were Antonio Brown, Terry Bradshaw, and Laila Ali.)

Nobody really knew what a Thingamajig was, but they did think it was probably an athlete standing inside that giant costume. It stood somewhere around 7 feet tall and was a brightly colored creature in a pretty dope suit that made it look like it was auditioning for a furry Forever Plaid.

I think we all have a pretty narrow view of who people are. And no, I’m not speaking to our political acumen in this country. But we look at a singer and expect them to be a singer and nothing else. Same for athletes. For postal workers. For the guy that works at the corner store. So when we see someone walk up onto a stage who is that tall and we assume is an athlete, we don’t expect much.

Then this happened:

Picked your jaw up off the floor yet? No? Cool. As long as your eyes still work you can keep reading.

The All-Star Clues

The competition doesn’t simply throw a person on stage and have you guess. They have clue packages that allude to information that can help you, the viewer, uncover those details and find out who the person behind the mask actually is. If you’re interested in a full breakdown of Oladipo’s clues per episode, Whitney Medworth of SB Nation blogged about it.

I’m going to focus on a handful of them here.

  1. Magic. Victor was drafted by, and originally played for, the Orlando Magic.
  2. His darkest days were when he went to rehab. I think most people went to an addiction-related rehab in their minds. However, this was referring to the knee injury that has kept him off the court for nearly a year.
  3. American Sign Language dictionary. He learned to sign at a very young age in order to communicate with his oldest sister, who is deaf.
  4. A record. Victor recently recorded a studio album.

Humanizing athletes

I’ve had an article sitting in drafts on the backend of our site for roughly a year and a half called “Athletes are people, too”. I’ll get around to finishing it at some point, but for some reason I never feel like it’s done.

Anyway, this touches on it a bit. Victor Oladipo is an NBA All-Star guard who is fluent in ASL and recorded a studio album. He’s been dealing with a tough knee injury and took part in The Masked Singer to put smiles on people’s faces. But also to put a smile on his own. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be held back from doing what it is you love and get paid to do, like Oladipo’s current situation with basketball.

On top of that, Oladipo has been very active, as many athletes are, in the communities of which he has been a part. He has established Dunk Cancer, which sees $1,000 donated to the organization for every dunk he makes. He has given to domestic violence survivors. And because this cause is close to his heart due to his sister, he has donated to organizations like the UCF Listening Center, helping hard of hearing children in need.

All in all, he’s a really good dude.

The Masked Singer

If you haven’t watched the season, it’s well worth it. But if you’re only interested in Victor Oladipo’s performances, check out the below link. My personal favorites are his covers of Kacey Musgraves’ Rainbow and John Legend’s Ordinary People.

Why is this important?

We’re heading into a new year. 2019 has been a doozy for most, and remembering that some of our biggest idols and famous figures are just as human as you and me is paramount. The Masked Singer kicks off after the Super Bowl on February 2nd. I can’t wait to see who surprises us season 3. We need more stories like this in the world.

Kevin is an actor, director, playwright, and musician who works in tech. He is die hard New England sports and an avid Tottenham supporter. His qualifications include scoring 1 point in his elementary school basketball career, 4 years of mixed little league results, and breaking his arm with a skip-it days before pre-season workouts started for Freshman football.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Advertisement

Editor’s Picks

Latest Articles