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Victor Oladipo dishes out thoughtful insights on his growth as a player, hunger to keep growing

Photo: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

A talented and an articulate conversationalist, the Pacers’ Victor Oladipo explained in measured remarks how he has transformed as a player, rising to All-Defensive First Team level in a recent interview.

HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy had the opportunity in a wide-ranging Q&A to explore Oladipo’s career and what it took for the Indiana University product to improve and reach the All-Star level.

Oladipo’s knee injury last season cut short a quality season. But he’s expected to return to the Pacers lineup soon, according to published reports.

Interview highlights

Here are a couple key exchanges between Kennedy and Oladipo:

Kennedy: “What did you do to pass the time when you were going through rehab? I know some guys play a lot of video games or find other hobbies. Did you do anything like that?”

Oladipo: “I think the biggest thing was just watching a lot of basketball. Whenever you’re playing, you’re kind of just focused on playing and performing at the highest level possible. But over the last 10 and a half months, I had the opportunity to really watch a lot of games and really watch a lot of other players. I watched pretty much everyone, especially all of the best players, and I’d see why they’re so successful at certain things. I just tried to find different things that I can apply to my game, so that I can continue to grow and continue to separate myself as a player.”

Kennedy: “From the start of your NBA career to now, what has changed for you and what are the biggest things that you’ve learned over the years?”

Oladipo: “I just think for me as a player, my mindset has changed. But I think my role has changed too. Here, they demand a lot more from me – on and off the court. I get the ball more, I have more responsibilities and I’m able to play at the highest level because of that. I wasn’t really given those opportunities in Orlando or Oklahoma City, but things are different here. When those things became different, I became different. But I need to keep getting better too, so I can keep playing at the highest level that I can. When I do that, I give my team a chance to be successful. I just have to continue to get better.”

Budding musician

Did you know Victor Oladipo is also an accomplished singer. He has released one EP (“Songs For You) and a full-length album (“V.O.”)?

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