OJELEYE GAVE ALL HE HAD TO K-STATE

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State concludes its regular season on Saturday with a 12:30 p.m. tipoff against Oklahoma State. The Wildcats will be playing for the No. 5 seed in next week's Big 12 Tournament in the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Victor Ojeleye's No. 10 jersey will never sway in the rafters of Bramlage Coliseum, but that doesn't mean that the Wildcat senior wasn't a significant contributor during his four K-State seasons.

Instead of points and rebounds, Ojeleye topped the charts in class, in leadership, in unity and in academics as a three-time recipient of a spot on the All-Big 12 Academic first team.

Associate head coach Brad Underwood said of his 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior, "You want everyone on your team to be like him. He's such a great leader, has such a strong faith, and is just about all the right things."

Just a spot player for the first three years when he averaged just 1.5 points and 1.4 rebounds per game, as a senior Ojeleye earned his way to meaningful minutes in games, which included a stretch of playing at least 14 minutes in five successive Big 12 games. In one of those he scored a season-high of eight points against Texas Tech.

"From a guy who was hard to put on the floor, his game matured to a guy you want on the floor with the game on the line," said Underwood. "He's such a hard worker and tries so hard. That has never wavered through the years.

"He's playing a position where he's under-sized, but he plays it with such tenacity and he's always there to lay it on the line for his teammates," Underwood continued. "He may get scored on because another player is bigger or more talented, but it's never because of a lack of effort on Victor's part."

Ojeleye was born in Nigeria, but moved to the United States at the age of four. Out of Kansas' Ottawa High School, Ojeleye first attended The Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C., before arriving at K-State as a walk-on in 2008-09.

Of what playing for coach Frank Martin is like, Ojeleye said, "I would probably say the one thing is his intensity. It never fades away. He is just consistent about getting the best out of us and asking us to maximize our potential every day.

"He just wants basketball played the right way. Doing the things in your role whether it's rebounding, knocking down shots, getting other guys open and setting good screens … those are the detailed things that coach harps on. When you try to put those things together, you are able to play the game and have a lot of fun doing it. Those things put together help us continue to move forward and continue to find success."

Since day-one, Ojeleye has also found success off the court.

With a double-major of business accounting and finance, the 4.0 high school student has remained the same at K-State.

Well, almost: "I had a ‘B' my sophomore year in an operations management class. (Pause) It was emotional. It bothered me." Ojeleye 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. In addition, during the summer he was named Vice-Chair to 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."

That's not to mention all of the on-campus student government leadership roles he holds, plus the Bible study groups he heads for K-State student athletes.

As he sees it, "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."

Already with a job in hand from Koch Industries in Wichita, Ojeleye adds, "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."

With Koch, Ojeleye hopes to be involved with international business. He says, "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."


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