Jan. 19, 2012
By Mark Janssen
Victor Ojeleye had scored but 10 points and collected 11 rebounds during this basketball year, which made the Wildcat senior statistically somewhat insignificant heading into Wednesday’s game with Texas.
While the Star of the Game Wednesday was Rodney McGruder with his 33 points, one wonders whether that total would have been enough had it not been for Ojeleye’s two points, career-high of five rebounds, plus a number of defensive stops in an all-time high 19 minutes of court time.
Afterward, coach Frank Martin talked of Ojeleye’s energy, toughness and discipline.
Whether he gets in a game or not, Ojeleye is one of the Wildcat MVP’s every day in practice, plus when it comes to daily leadership, not to mention being a student-athlete.
During the summer Ojeleye was named Vice-Chair of the Big 12’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council for the current academic year.
In Ojeleye’s words, “It’s a committee designed to be the voice of all student-athletes. It’s an advisory committee that will take positions on legislation keeping the welfare of the student-athlete in mind to provide the best possible total experience.”
Ojeleye, the first K-Stater to ever serve on the Big 12 committee, earned the position through his efforts on the basketball court, but also as a student with his double major in accounting and finance, which he has completed as a Wildcat graduate.
A member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in both semesters for the last two years, the Ottawa, Kan., native earned the inaugural Dr. Gerald Lage Award, which goes to student-athletes who have earned at least 100 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.8.
Now, let’s get this straight. Ojeleye is not a perfect student. Not by any means. He’s had a “B” before. That’s “a” B … in his life.
Giving a soft chuckle, Ojeleye said, “That was emotional. It came in my sophomore year … an Operations Management class. Something like that brings you back to reality. It really did bother me.”
It didn’t bother Koch Industries of Wichita, however, as Ojeleye already has a job in hand upon finishing this semester in the area of accounting and finance.
“I hope to be involved with international business,” said Ojeleye. “I want to travel the world and make things happen at the highest scale. I want to be sure to add value to whoever I work for.”
Ojeleye was born in Nigeria, but came to the United States at the age of four. His father is a family physician in Ottawa, while his mother is active in community projects.
“It’s how I was raised,” Ojeleye said when asked about the importance in grades and campus community involvement. “I am always listening to the advice from others and want involvement with mentors in and out of sports. Each one can give you a little tidbit on what made them a better person whether that’s through a positive experience, or a mistake made that you can avoid.”
At K-State, Ojeleye has been involved in the student-athlete advisory committee, which includes projects with Special Olympics, Adopt-A-Family, Flint Hills Breadbasket, etc.
“I’m always trying to find new initiatives and finding ways to give back,” said Ojeleye. “Our organization is very involved in the community. When I tell student-athletes from other schools what we do, you can tell that their schools are well behind us in campus and community involvement.”
Ojeleye says that family and community is what keeps him going. He adds, “You can do nothing in life by yourself. Everything you do with a purpose involves interacting with someone else. Almost without question, it takes at least two individuals to get you somewhere.
“The opportunities that we’ve been given as student-athletes are priceless,” he continued. “Groups like SAAC are a way to share our gift with others whether that’s on campus or in the community.”
While Ojeleye’s scoring average is under a two-point bucket per game, all teammates would point to him as a team leader whether on or off the court.
As Ojeleye says, “The greatest thing you can do as a part of any kind of group is try to make a difference. You can’t realize the influence you can have on individuals until you reach out to them.”
Off the court, Ojeleye heads two Bible study groups with one being for young players and the other for juniors and seniors. Saying that 10 or 11 team members usually attend, he says, “It’s a chance to discuss growth and leadership qualities with the Bible providing the foundation. It’s about each person having a personal level of growth that helps them become a better person and staying strong in what they believe in good times and in bad.”